The Charlotte News

Monday, October 3, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Denver that anxiety over the President's illness had eased considerably during the morning as physicians reported that his condition "showed no changes to indicate complications." His condition remained satisfactory, lifting the tension created the previous night when an official report from the Army Hospital stated that the President was "a little tired" and not feeling "as well as usual." It had been the first bulletin which did not indicate that the President was progressing satisfactorily "without complications". Doctors had repeatedly indicated that complications would most likely develop, if at all, during the first two weeks after the heart attack. The change had come the previous night on the ninth day of that two-week period. The medical bulletin of the morning indicated that the President had slept soundly for 11 1/2 hours, with the exception of a half hour during the middle of the night. His temperature, pulse and blood pressure were normal. He felt rested and refreshed during the morning, with his cardiogram continuing to show slow, progressive evolution. The story again provides his breakfast menu, should you want to eat the same.

In Washington, Vice-President Nixon arranged to stop at the White House this date for what he termed a routine conference with the President's chief legislative aide, Maj. General Wilton Persons, a conference which had been arranged prior to the previous night's announcement that the President did not feel as well as usual. The Vice-President said that he was planning to go over routine matters. Earlier, he had said that during the first week of the illness, "things have gone smoothly and government business has been carried on without delays or interruptions." He stated to reporters the previous day, as he and his family attended church services, that the Government was being run as close as possible to the way they thought the President would have wanted it run under the circumstances. He said that in previous American history under similar circumstances, there had arisen internal disputes and jealousies, though not elaborating. He had also announced in a separate statement that the National Equal Economic Opportunity Conference, scheduled for October 25, would proceed as planned. A dinner scheduled at the White House, sponsored by the President's Committee on Government Contracts, would instead be held in a Washington hotel, with all Cabinet members invited. The Vice-President would preside as chairman of the Committee. The conference, to which 66 industrial and labor union leaders had been invited, was aimed at stressing the Administration's policy of persuasion against job discrimination because of race, creed, color or national origin.

In New York, the stock market had declined for the third straight session this date, amid quiet trading. The medical bulletin of the President's condition the previous night had stimulated new anxiety prior to the opening of the market, but prices had fallen between one dollar and three dollars per share at worst in the early trading. Selling orders had declined after the more optimistic statement had issued from Denver during the morning. A week earlier, the AP 60-stock average had declined by $11.40 to $170.10, its most precipitous decline since Black Monday, October 28, 1929, at the time of the infamous Crash. But in the two ensuing days, the market had staged vigorous rallies, recovering about 43 percent of the decline on average. On the prior Thursday and Friday, however, the recovery trend in prices had slackened somewhat, with a decline in trading volume, the week having ended with an AP average at $173.30.

At the U.N. in New York, the General Assembly returned this date for a final round of general policy debates, with the French delegation absent after walking out the prior Friday in protest against the General Assembly voting to place on the agenda the issue of France's treatment of the Algerian nationalist independence movement. Based on a communiqué from the French Cabinet the previous night, France would maintain its permanent seat on the Security Council, along with its places on the Disarmament Committee and subcommittee and the Council's Military Staff Committee. Most of the French delegation had already departed for home, with most of the remainder intending to leave this night, with the exception of one representative and two aides working on the Disarmament subcommittee, which the French regarded as working at the behest of the Big Four summit meeting of the prior July rather than the U.N per se, in advance of the October 27 Big Four foreign ministers conference in Geneva. The communiqué left open the possibility of France returning to the body and avoided any mention of complete withdrawal from the U.N. Israeli Ambassador Abba Eban, fresh from talks in Washington with Secretary of State Dulles regarding Soviet bloc arms promises to Arab countries, was prepared to support U.S. and British protests about such sales as part of the Assembly policy debate. Ambassador Eban, in a television interview the previous night, had criticized the sale of arms by anyone to Arab countries, charging that they would be used to crush Israel.

In Paris, the French Foreign Office announced the postponement of the proposed visit of Premier Edgar Faure and Foreign Minister Antoine Pinay to Moscow, indicating that the Government thought it preferable at the present time based on the recent events at the U.N. and the reaction of French opinion against such a trip. It had originally been scheduled to occur between October 14 and 16. No French Government had ever dared propose any compromises in Algeria, which had been held by France since 1830, despite having yielded to the demands for home rule in Tunisia and agreed to have the Sultan of Morocco enter exile in Tangier the previous Saturday, in response to pressure from nationalists.

In Asuncion, Paraguay, ousted Argentine dictator Juan Peron had taken up residence in exile this date behind a guard of police and machine guns. He had flown to Paraguay the previous day in a Paraguayan amphibious plane, 13 days after taking refuge aboard a Paraguayan gunboat in the Plate River bordering Paraguay off Buenos Aires, his departure having been delayed while Argentine and Paraguayan officials resolved technicalities of his asylum. A communiqué from the new Argentine Government of provisional President Eduardo Lonardi stated that it was "confident" that Paraguay would prevent Sr. Peron from "being an obstacle to friendly relations" between the two countries. It had been suggested that he might ultimately go to Spain or Switzerland. As the former El Presidente had emerged from the plane, he was met by a jeering insult from another Argentine exile, but paid no heed, saluting to the right and left and smiling at the few officials who greeted him, then entering a black Lincoln for a nine-mile ride into the city, with a few townspeople having gathered along the route to watch the procession, though without cheers. Later this date, he planned to hold his first press conference since his ouster. His only companions aboard the flight were the Paraguayan ambassador to Argentina and his own aide. Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, La Razon reported that a 16-year old high school girl, who had been linked to the dictator's love life, had said that he liked to call himself "The Man". She said that he was a generous lover who had given her some of the jewelry of his late wife Eva, who had died of cancer in 1952. Argentinian police said that they had found jewelry and cash worth $46,000 in the young girl's apartment. The Times-News of Hendersonville, N.C., that hotbed of scintillating news for all of the shut-ins in town bent on being among the au courant, had provided more details of that story on Saturday.

In Detroit, it was reported that a strike of 16,500 Michigan Bell Telephone Co. employees had been settled this date only 90 minutes after it had started in the early morning. The settlement called for pay increases of between $2.50 and $50 per week, plus other benefits. The agreement continued the 40-hour work week, although the union had sought a 35-hour week.

In Raleigh, William H. Neal of Winston-Salem this date had been elected chairman of the board of trustees of a new consolidated college to be formed by the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina. The other board members are also listed.

In Charlotte, Ann Sawyer of The News reports that Good Samaritan Hospital officials this date had reportedly told the County Board of Commissioners that the hospital was in desperate financial straits, with informed sources indicating that the hospital, operated by the Episcopal Church for black patients, might cease operation in June, 1956. The meeting between hospital officials and the Board had been held behind closed doors and when contacted, the hospital administrator said that he was not at liberty to say what had taken place. One of the four commissioners present stated that it had been voted by the Board to appropriate approximately $3,800 for operating costs for the months of July, August and September. It was reliably reported that a large number of paying patients were presently going to Mercy Hospital instead of Good Samaritan and that with the reduction of patient load, the daily operating costs had increased. Presently, Mercy was the only white hospital which accepted black patients and it did not have sufficient facilities for caring for the total black population. A large percentage of the patients at Good Samaritan were charity patients and for several years the financial condition of the hospital had been brought to the attention of the County. When the Board had prepared its budget for the current fiscal year, it had been estimated that 2,037 charity patients would spend 18,964 patient days in the hospital at the expense of the County, and that the amount of money needed to cover them would be in excess of $211,000.

Also in Charlotte, a 34-year old man with a criminal record stretching back nearly 15 years, but now in training for the ministry, was nevertheless ordered into custody by Judge Wilson Warlick of the Federal District Court this date while a decision on his case was taken under submission after his trial during the morning, in which he was charged with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle. He had been training for the ministry since March and his lawyer argued that his renunciation of his past crimes and current record ought have a bearing on the matter. No, the defendant's surname was not Colson.

For those who have not yet learned to read, Vice-President Nixon is shown in a photograph standing in a busy Washington street, asking a group of four men nearby whether that was the position where they wished him to stand as a presumed pedestrian while a car zoomed up to his station, the driver of which would have no knowledge of the basis for an experiment being conducted by the National Safety Council, in which a snake would be thrown into the road astride the Vice-President at the last moment to determine whether the driver would apply the brakes earlier for the snake or the Vice-President, the results of which, determined by the length of skidmarks in front of each, were to be maintained in confidence by all concerned in the interest of national security.

On the editorial page, "France Will Retrace Her Steps" opines that pride and indignation had led the French delegation to depart the U.N. the previous Friday, but that if their good logic prevailed, they would return. Because of its position as a permanent member of the Security Council, France would not wield the same power outside the U.N. as it presently did, and since France was no longer a true military power, the prestige enjoyed from that role was quite important.

Regarding the issue of whether debate would occur before the General Assembly on France's role with respect to Algerian nationalists, the U.S. and Britain had supported France in regarding the matter as internal and not subject to U.N. jurisdiction, supported by the terms of the Charter. The French delegation had therefore rightfully said that they would not be bound by any recommendation which the Assembly made.

It indicates that however improperly the Assembly may have acted, it had acted and underscored the necessity for the French to create a sound policy for their North African protectorates. Even if the Assembly should reverse the action, France still would be on notice that world opinion, as well as that of the nationalists in North Africa, had turned against its conduct in the protectorates.

It concludes that if the multiple political parties of France had brought to the North African problem the rare unity they were displaying in the U.N. dispute, there would have been no opportunity for anyone to censure France.

"U.S. Tradition Passes a Key Test" indicates that the decision of Navy Secretary Charles Thomas in the loyalty case of a midshipman had cut to the core of the problem of internal security. The Secretary stated that he had interviewed the honor graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy, initially deprived of a commission because of his mother's membership in the Communist Party several years earlier, and had discussed the case with Vice-President Nixon, before ordering that the man be granted the commission which the Navy had denied him. In so doing, he had overruled a special review board of the Navy. The Secretary said that it was "common sense" to realize that guilt by kinship as applied to the man was all wrong, and that he should be judged on the basis of his own individual qualities.

No question had ever been raised regarding the man's personal loyalty and it regards Secretary Thomas's words and action to have removed a scar on the honor of both the young man and the tradition of the Navy, as well as that of the nation. It had taken the Navy Secretary and the Vice-President to salvage his reputation, plus a lot of publicity by Secretary Thomas.

It finds that the consideration of the matter by two such top officials showed the beauty of the U.S. system of government, but also recognizes that the publicity attendant the individual in question had considerably aided his cause and wonders what would happen to thousands of other citizens who came under security examination and whose reputations could be ruined beyond repair if "common sense" were not made an integral part of the security system.

"The Danger of Economic Ignorance" indicates that the way stock prices had fluctuated during the President's illness had done little to inspire confidence in the stability of U.S. prosperity. There even seemed to be in Washington a sense of futility about the matter.

It ventures that it should not have been the case, that the stock market, as some financial experts had reminded the nation afterward, was no longer just the concern of a few speculators, as common stock was now found in the holdings of insurance companies, charitable institutions, education boards, foundations and investment trusts, affecting the systematic savings of many Americans. It was the duty of the Federal Reserve Board and the Securities & Exchange Commission to protect the public from those who would play fast and loose with somebody else's money. It wonders whether those agencies were doing what they should.

There was deep distress within educational circles regarding fairly widespread economic ignorance in the country. Professor Kenneth E. Boulding, an economist from the University of Michigan, had indicated that a lack of understanding of economics might send the national economy into a tailspin just at a point when capitalism was gaining strength—not unlike the unfortunate accident between the Porsche and the Ford at the junction of Highways 41 and 466 near Cholame, Calif., the prior Friday afternoon.

It finds few people in Washington fully equipped to handle the broader economic issues of the day, with many legislators not understanding the simplest economic models, let alone the higher complexities of full employment equilibrium and dollar circuits.

Lawrence E. Leamer had pointed out recently that if economists were licensed as physicians and dentists, there would be only about 4,000 competent authorities in the nation. In Congress, only Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois would qualify.

It indicates that the problem of economic ignorance was intensified by the reckless manner in which many politicians made use of economic ideas, disposing of the ones not liked while boosting pet theories as "practical", "realistic" and "solidly American". Such an illusion might win votes but it was hardly feasible. The only reasonable solution, it posits, was in closer liaison between those thoroughly trained in economics and those in government. The Council of Economic Advisers had been designed to fill that need, but little of its original identity had survived the political wars. The national economy was too precariously balanced to risk tampering with it by economic quacks. It indicates that there were good and bad economists, just as there were good and bad government administrators, but that until a workable partnership could be established between the reliable representatives in both arenas, the nation remained in economic peril.

A piece from the Huntington (W. Va.) Herald-Dispatch, titled "Both Ways at Once", indicates that if a person had an old banjo, ukulele or stringless guitar, they should pull them out and dust them off because they were back in style, as were player pianos and honky-tonk pianos. Young people had discovered those instruments and the record business was booming with good guitarists and good banjo players.

In terms of cars and houses, people seemed not to be able to get enough of progress, while fashions were going the other way, with women wearing shoes again with dagger point toes and what they referred to as an "opera heel", appearing somewhat like the shoes which Minnie Mouse wore in the cartoons. Men were wearing three-button Edwardian suits, with the narrow lapel and higher top-button making any man look as if he were wearing an old turtle shell.

"It seems as silly to put a flapper in a 1955 kitchen as it does to seat King Edward on a hassock before the TV set. But as for the ukulele, there, my friends, is a real maestro's instrument. Just pass me the sheet music for Harvest Moon."

For the record, by the way, for the sake of compleat accuracy, our near-fatal encounter with some form of inverted fate, but for our fortuitous, alert starboard steerage into a clear lane in Malibu that day, was actually the day after the release of that band's initial four CD's, a Friday, not Thursday, as we were nowhere near a record shop of note on Thursday, during our extensive tour which had begun that day, if memory serves, at Mono Lake and proceeded through Yosemite Valley, down through the intersection of Highways 41 and what was by then 46, on over to Santa Barbara, down from there for a quick midnight tour for our passengers through Los Angeles and Hollywood, one of our passengers never having been there before and so we accommodated during the wee hours of the morning, hitting all of the high points of the city in the course of two hours, including Warner Brothers Studios, before heading on down to San Diego, arriving round about 5:30, and enabling our passengers to make their early morning flight back east on time, before commencing shortly before noon the nearly interrupted, in sleep's counterfeit, return journey next day north, after a brief stop at Tower Records in San Diego for the purchase of those four CD's, to which we were listening on the playback device during our return, all having taken place a couple of days after our visit to Lone Pine, before encountering those Martians who had landed and taken over shop, obviously, at the recommended diner over to the east in Pahrump, Nev., where we partook of Pard's leftovers, as every means of obtaining any semi-edible victuals otherwise had evaporated in the mist at Lone Pine by 9, Pard obviously having already consumed everything there, including the omnipresent French dip, and so those hamburgers in Cholame at Jack's Ranch had tasted especially good...

Drew Pearson indicates that as soon as the President had his heart attack, there occurred behind the scenes jockeying for position to take over the reins of government and to be in the favored spot for being the potential substitute candidate in 1956, with a probable battle between the forces of former New York Governor Thomas Dewey and those of Vice-President Nixon, with the old friends of the late Senator Robert Taft ready to pitch in if necessary. Mr. Nixon had accomplished the primary jockeying.

On the night of September 24, just after the news came that the President had been stricken, the Vice-President had gone to the home of his intimate friend, Deputy Attorney General William Rogers—to become Attorney General during the President's second term and Secretary of State in the first term of the Nixon Administration—, the two having met when the President was so sick that he was blinded in both eyes and initial reports appeared more pessimistic than later ones. Mr. Rogers, with Attorney General Herbert Brownell absent in Europe, had been acting Attorney General at the time, and had traveled with Mr. Nixon during the 1952 campaign, helping him to prepare his famous Checkers speech for television, avoiding the consequences of having an $18,000 personal expense fund contributed by wealthy supporters. The Vice-President went to the meeting not primarily to escape phone calls, as he told the press, but rather to ask Mr. Rogers to make a legal ruling that he, as Vice-President, could take over the powers of the Presidency during the illness.

They proceeded to discuss that question until the wee hours of the morning and for a time, Secretary of State Dulles met with them. Mr. Rogers at first had been inclined to give the ruling which Mr. Nixon wanted, but J. Lee Rankin, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the office of legal opinions, was skeptical, and he would have to draft the opinion. Having in mind the historic controversies which had taken place anent President Wilson's stroke in 1919 and President James A. Garfield in 1881, lingering for two months after he had been shot by an assassin's bullet which eventually killed him, Mr. Rankin suggested that they telephone Mr. Brownell in Spain. Mr. Rankin and Mr. Rogers had difficulty getting Mr. Brownell on the phone but finally did so, finding him extremely reluctant to provide a ruling. By that point, friends of former Governor Dewey had begun to realize the power the Vice-President would have during the months of the President's recovery if he occupied the White House. He could not only build potent public support, but could hand out patronage, providing him a powerful basis for obtaining the nomination in 1956. Thus, the Dewey forces went to work and advised Mr. Brownell to reject the requested ruling by the Vice-President, and Mr. Brownell told Mr. Rogers not to discuss the matter of a ruling with anyone, advising other Cabinet members likewise. At the same time, chief of staff Sherman Adams, in Europe, rushed back to Washington on the private military plane of NATO commander General Alfred Gruenther.

The following day, a meeting was held in the office of Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, the most potent force in the Cabinet at present, at which time Mr. Brownell's position that there should be no legal ruling and no necessity of Mr. Nixon serving as acting president was determined.

Below the surface, while there were no arguments or animosities emanating from the Vice-President as a result, there continued to be a strong determination by the friends of Mr. Dewey to see that Mr. Nixon did not carve out for himself a favored place for obtaining the nomination while the President was sick. Word had gone out to all Cabinet officers from RNC chairman Leonard Hall that there would be no speculation about Republican election plans for 1956, as the more such talk there was, the less chance the Republicans would have of winning. He thus issued a headline indicating, "Republican Plans Unchanged". Long distance telephone lines had been busy all over the country among top Republicans, and a stop-Dewey movement among the old supporters of Senator Taft was already underway.

Congressman Clarence Brown of Ohio, one of Senator Taft's campaign managers in 1952, had promised that the Ohio delegates in 1956 would vote for favorite son Senator John W. Bricker, in an effort to block Mr. Dewey, and a move was already underway by Senator William Jenner of Indiana to try to line up Indiana Republicans against Mr. Dewey. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire had talked with Senator William Knowland of California about mutual plans, while in Pennsylvania, the Grundy forces believed they could outmaneuver Senator James Duff to stop Mr. Dewey. The stop-Dewey movement might be premature, but animosity toward him by the Taft wing of the Republican Party was so great that they wanted to take no chances.

Doris Fleeson indicates that Adlai Stevenson would announce in November that he would be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1956, but was still considering whether or not to enter the presidential preference primaries, with his national advisers counseling him to resist the pressure to do so, arguing that Senator Estes Kefauver or some other favorite son might thereby knock him out of the race before the convention in Chicago the following summer. His supporters within the states, however, indicated that he had to enter the races to counter Senator Kefauver.

Mr. Stevenson would shortly return from his trip through Asia and Europe, which included Russia, and would be met by friends who would start planning with him a campaign against Senator Kefauver, in which the primaries would be a vital element.

The primaries were considered a nuisance by most candidates as they were expensive to enter and full of pitfalls and unpredictable outcomes. Some national conventions had been influenced by a candidate who had won several primaries, while others had not. (It should be noted that this was at a time when there were only a handful of primaries across the country and delegates were not, as in the current system, pledged to a particular candidate simply because there was a victory in the state's primary. They were more beauty contests than anything determinative of the nomination.) Ms. Fleeson indicates that they still had great appeal, however, to voters, and that it was only natural for candidates to prove their mettle with the voters prior to claiming the nomination for such high office.

There was a tendency at present to insist that nationwide telecasts were the answer to all politics, but Americans still liked to shake the hand of the candidates. For the candidate, however, they were the hardest work he would ever do. Once a candidate was nominated, money would start coming in and much would be done for him, but in the primaries, each candidate ran alone and was primarily dependent on themselves.

Once in a primary, an aspiring politician had to make sure that he would win, even though it might not help him, because it would hurt him if he lost. That was particularly true of Mr. Stevenson at this juncture, for his standing had not been tested since the 1952 general election.

The primaries were necessary to Senator Kefauver because so few organization politicians had supported him. His supporters were convinced that he was as popular with the rank-and-file Democrats as he had proved to be in 1952.

Governor Averell Harriman of New York was still saying that he was for Mr. Stevenson and could therefore resist entering the primaries for that reason.

Many of Mr. Stevenson's supporters believed that he would do well in the primaries, although they did not expect it to be easy. The first primary, in New Hampshire, would be on March 13, and the Stevenson supporters argued that while it was a small state and thus more easily managed for the candidate, once he were to carry it, he would be off to a flying start, never to be seriously contested thereafter.

A letter from the president of the Charlotte Mental Health Society comments on a recent editorial regarding the commitment of mental patients to jail while awaiting admission to the State mental hospitals, indicating that at present in Charlotte, there was no better or safer place to keep such a person, provided they needed restraint, that if they were maintained in a general hospital, it would require having a minimum of five specially trained nurses to provide round-the-clock care, plus safeguards and requirements of personnel and staff which would make the procedure very expensive. No one had proposed who would bear that expense, and the hospitals could not be expected to do so with no assurance of a volume of patients to defray the cost. If the community appropriated the money, the hospitals could provide the service. Commitment to jail for safekeeping under such circumstances was not the same as incarceration and if it did carry with it any stigma, it was much less severe than the general attitude in the first place toward persons with mental illness. He indicates that admission to State mental hospitals now could occur very quickly and that there was a direct ratio between the amount of money being spent on the care and treatment of mental patients, and their rate of recovery. Mental illness was the cause for more patients being hospitalized each year than all other diseases combined, while receiving less money for research and prevention than dread diseases which affected only a fraction of the number of people. He advises that before getting upset regarding one night of custody of care in jail, the money should be contributed to support agencies working to preserve mental and emotional health, while providing adequate financial support to mental hospitals where people could be cured and returned to normal productivity.

A letter from a Laurinburg minister indicates that there were those who would like to regard American blacks as freeloaders, that the economic, educational and political opportunities which blacks had earned were being regarded as gifts supplied by kind-hearted white people. He asserts that nothing could be further from the truth, that the black man's contribution to the development and progress of the country had exceeded the few opportunities which he enjoyed. He reminds that Crispus Attucks, a black man, had been the first person to die in the American Revolution, and that black men had shivered and starved at Valley Forge along with white men, that in the War of 1812, black soldiers had won the praise of General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, that in the Civil War, they had died along with whites to save the Union, that in the Spanish-American War, they had shared the hardships and death with other soldiers. World War I, World War II and the Korean War had cost black lives, just as white lives. "And what about the millions of slaves out of whose blood, sweat and tears the South wrung its wealth? No, white folks, you are not giving us a thing. We earned every bit of it, the hard way."

A letter writer from Rock Hill, S.C., indicates that Egypt's decision to purchase arms from the Soviet bloc represented a danger to the stability and present peace in the Middle East, that it could embroil the West in the region and cause major problems. Egypt had the right to purchase arms wherever it wanted and more important was the possibility of entangling Egypt with the Soviet bloc. He wonders whether President Abdul Nasser really believed that the Russians or their satellites would sell Egypt arms without forcing the country to make a deal. The Western democracies needed to be concerned with Russia's muddying of the waters in the Middle East, with Russian influence in that vital area being a threat to the security of the West. He thinks that to invite Soviet influence into Egypt and into the line-up against Israel would, in the long run, be dangerous to the entire Arab world.

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