The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 1, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Chicago that the President had wired the RNC this date that he would do everything in his power the following year to help report the record accurately and fully to the country of the Republican Party's accomplishments, with some Republican leaders viewing it as an expression of the President's intent to aid Republican candidates in the coming quadrennial election year, whether or not he decided to run again. One Republican leader at the meeting, who could not be quoted by name, said that the President's statement could be construed as an indication that he planned to take an active part in the campaign. The President said that he was personally proud of Republican achievements for peace and prosperity and would do everything he could to report the record accurately and fully to the country. He said that Republicans "must not stand still absorbed in the contemplations of what we have done", listing the goals which he foresaw for the party.

Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson outlined this date to RNC leaders in Chicago a six-point Republican farm program which he said was supported by the President and would be presented to Congress the following January. He said that it would not be a panacea but would be constructive and that the proposals of the Democratic leaders, including Adlai Stevenson and New York Governor Averell Harriman, had reached "ludicrous proportions". He said that the Democrats had picked agriculture as the major issue for 1956, believing it to be "smart politics". He said that the Administration's proposed program was not yet ready for discussion in detail, but would include increased surplus disposal and expansion of exports, a vigorous purchase program to remove surpluses, enlargement of soil conservation and incentive payment programming, especially in drought areas, expansion of the rural development program for low-income farm families, increased research, emphasizing lower production costs, new uses for farm products, and expansion of markets, and an acceleration in a ten-state Great Plains program to make better use of wheat and grazing land.

The White House conference on education in Washington this date called on the American public to remember that there was a tremendous shortage of teachers who "work with our most precious resource–our children." The conference appeared ready to go on record in support of Federal aid to schools, particularly for construction. It said that teachers had to have prestige comparable to other professions, that the salaries had to be high enough to maintain teachers in the classroom, and that their job had to be presented in such a way that it would attract talented people to the profession. It said that a "good teacher is one who has an active interest in children and youths; has a broad educational background; is professionally qualified and competent; possesses good physical and mental health; has a good moral character; manifests a desire for self improvement; can work constructively with other professional workers, parents and the community; and is proud of teaching as a profession." The previous night's session had lasted until 2:00 a.m.

Thomas L. Robinson, publisher of The News, reports from the education conference that school curricula with too many frills, school systems which needed to be simplified, coordinated and integrated, the shortage of school buildings and classrooms, the inadequate supply of good teachers, and the lack of funding with which to finance public education were only a few of the problems being discussed during the four-day meeting. He says that during his time as a reporter for the New York Times, he had thought nothing of spending 14 to 18 hours per day digging for facts about crime, education, politics and scores of other subjects, but that in his memory of 25 years as a newspaperman, he had never seen such an immense array of facts and figures as amassed at the current conference. He found it a grand example of "democracy in action", where everyone was hollering at the same time and getting a lot off their chests. He quotes from a report on the topic of the ways to organize the school systems more economically and efficiently, that the consensus of the participants, numbering some 1,800, was that there was a "high correlation between a good educational program, getting good teachers, properly financing school buildings and operating schools, and a school district organization which was large enough to provide good educational leadership, skilled teachers and adequate facilities."

In Raleigh, Governor Luther Hodges asserted the previous night, in a radio and television report to the people on his first year as Governor, that some black leaders were working for his voluntary school segregation program, indicating his belief that their number would grow and that the black leaders to whom he had talked had said they believed blacks preferred separate schools, provided equal facilities were maintained. He said that the black leaders did not wish to have publicity because they did not want to be pressured by "professional agitators". He stated that he was "opposed to mixing the races in our schools. I think the overwhelming majority of the people of North Carolina are also opposed to mixing white and colored children, and that any sudden change in our enrollment pattern without due regard for local conditions would impair or destroy our public schools." He said that a special session of the Legislature would be called to deal with the problem of segregation "if the present program should result in conditions not acceptable to the state." He indicated that in spite of loud protests from the NAACP and the "unfavorable reaction" from other black groups, he believed the state's black citizens would realize that their real friends were the white people of the state. He also reviewed the accomplishments of the 1955 General Assembly, praising it for an overall good job, and said that there was expanded industry in the state, one of his favorite subjects, adding that the state's financial condition was good.

In Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, the only fatalities during the first 12 hours of Safe Driving Day had been a few chickens en route to a local poultry company and the only injury was to a 14-year old boy admitted to Presbyterian Hospital after receiving a fractured collarbone, the latter resulting from a three-vehicle accident. There had been six minor collisions, with only property damage resulting. The chickens had died when a two-ton truck overturned 13 miles east of Charlotte. They were probably crossing the road after the accident, from the left to the right.

In Charlotte, 1955 construction costs, totaling 25.5 million dollars, had already exceeded building expenditures for the previous year. In addition, 14.3 million dollars had been spent for new construction in the perimeter area a mile beyond the city limits.

Dick Young of The News reports that it had cost only four cents more per month to live inside Charlotte than it did to maintain residence in the suburbs beyond the city limits, according to City Council member and former Mayor Herbert Baxter, based on figures compiled by a Charlotte bank for a G.I. loan on an $11,000 residence, showing that payments inside Charlotte were $77.08 per month, compared to $77.04 for a homeowner outside the city. Those figures did not include City school tuition fees, which amounted to $60 per year per child. Mr. Baxter concluded from the figures that there was no financial hardship resulting from residence inside the city. In previous public discussions of proposals to extend the city limits, costs of living in the city had been raised as an objection, compared to living outside the city.

The Weather Bureau said that precipitation was likely in the Carolinas the following day, with sleet possible in the Charlotte area in the wee hours of the morning, probably turning to rain, however, as the temperature would rise. The temperature had dropped far below freezing for the third morning in succession, with lows ranging from 37 at Cape Hatteras down to nine at the Asheville airport, and below-freezing temperatures practically in every section of the state. The low in Charlotte had been 21 and the Bureau forecast a high of 48 during the current afternoon, with a low of around 30 for the following morning. It had been 22 at Greensboro, 27 at New Bern, 21 in Raleigh and Hickory, 26 in Wilmington and 29 in Charleston.

In Dallas, Tex., a battalion fire chief had removed his fire helmet and flashed his light on the lettering after failing to awaken a 45-year old female deaf mute by shaking her, during the evacuation of 20 residents from a burning rooming house. The chief said that the woman got the idea fast, grabbed her robe and ran out of the house.

This date, in Montgomery, Ala., which will not be reported in The News until the following Monday, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on a municipal bus to white passengers at the instruction of the bus driver per a local ordinance requiring the segregation of public transportation. The act of civil disobedience, prompted by the brutal and unpunished murder of Emmett Till on August 28 in Money, Miss., would lead, on December 5, to the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose pastorate was in Montgomery, eventually to become the foundation for the modern civil rights movement, premised not only, as before, on court action but on the action of ordinary people placing non-violent and coordinated economic pressure on white-owned businesses to desegregate, eventually carrying over to lunchroom and restaurant sit-ins and public accommodations generally throughout the South, finally resulting in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, promulgated by the Kennedy Administration and passed, in the wake of the assassination of President Kennedy, through the determination of President Johnson utilizing his special talents for persuasion in dealing with his former Southern colleagues in the Senate, which had been demonstrated during the current 1955 session of Congress, reaching across the aisle to effect coalitions to break the inevitable filibuster.

On the editorial page, "S-D Day Aftermath: Firmness, Please" indicates that the organized effort on the present year's Safe Driving Day was less than previously but had still received its full share of public notice. Safety experts had operated on the theory that men, women and children were responsible for the nation's automobile accidents.

It indicates that if such campaigns increased the awareness of traffic problems, they were obviously worthwhile, but that the battle for highway safety could not be won with one day devoted to it or by any other short-term promotion, and that neither could responsibility be shoved onto individual motorists and pedestrians, that hard discipline was better, with law enforcement authorities providing that discipline swiftly and surely.

It urges that the general public could help by being civic watchdogs to see that law enforcement officials had the tools to do their job and used those tools, that a reasonable program of action would be ample police, organized and trained to enforce the law uniformly, impartial enforcement and complete cooperation from the courts, a State motor vehicle inspection law, absolute refusal to license the unfit, strict regulation of pedestrian traffic, an expanded program of driver education in the public schools, and universal application of the principles of modern traffic control.

It concludes that if those things were implemented, there might not be a need for Safe Driving Day in the future.

What about the chickie-run over the cliff?

"Who Did the Inspector 'Stir Up'?" indicates that State ABC chairman Tom Allen had enunciated a puzzling law enforcement theory in asking for the resignation of the local beer inspector of Onslow County, who, by all accounts, was a good inspector, but, according to Mr. Allen, did not "fit in" in Jacksonville because he had tried to do some policing which should have been left to local authorities and that unnamed authorities were "stirred up" by it.

The local sheriff, however, had said that the inspector was the best beer inspector they had ever had in the county and that they had always received the best cooperation from him, with the local police chief in Jacksonville echoing those remarks, as did the warrant officer who was head of the Military Police detachment in Jacksonville.

It indicates that a possible conclusion was that whoever was "stirred up" was not so much so that the person was apparent, that some politicians could get stirred up like that. Another possibility was that the inspector had committed breaches of good conduct which Mr. Allen did not want to make public, that whatever was the case, the inspector's dismissal should have been based on specific charges and not on a generality that he "stirred up" somebody, which any good police officer was likely to do.

"Air Academy: A Gridiron in the Sky" indicates that in a prior editorial, it had taken to task the Air Force Academy for over-emphasizing football, which had not gone unnoticed at the Academy's temporary headquarters in Denver. Col. Max Boyd, head of the Academy's information services, had courteously responded with a copy of the 1955-56 school catalog, a transcript of a speech on the Academy's mission by the Academy superintendent on November 17, and an invitation for the newspaper to visit the Academy to see what was going on. He had even offered to ask Air Force headquarters to arrange transportation for the tour, presumably at public expense.

It is enormously impressed by the response but notes that the Air Force had not bothered to deny the claim that football was receiving more emphasis than was necessary at the Academy.

It finds it just as well as it would have been difficult to explain otherwise an announcement that the Academy was sending two scouts to Charlotte to look at high school football stars performing in the 1955 Shrine Bowl game, concluding that the prosecution rested.

"Argentina: A Promise of Freedom" finds that the new regime in Argentina was moving to free La Prensa, the independent newspaper which had been taken over by the dictatorship of Juan Peron, now in exile in Paraguay, regards it as one of the most promising signs yet that there was a rebirth of democracy in Argentina. The former editor and publisher of the newspaper, Dr. Alberto Gainza Paz, could have kept the newspaper by agreeing to say in it what the former El Presidente wanted, but his refusal had led to its seizure and his subsequent flight from Argentina.

Now, the new Government was making good on its promise of righting the wrong and demonstrating its willingness to be subject to fair comment and criticism, an essential characteristic of any government which considered itself responsible to the people.

Meanwhile, our own former El Presidente, in 2022, has indicated within the previous few days his firm desire that the Constitution be completely suspended so that he can be installed as the rightfully elected El Presidente, made therefore permanent king and dictator by fiat. We recommend that he undertake a voluntary exile to Argentina, where he might receive a more favorable reception for his whimsy, and, thereby, also perhaps avoid prosecution for his many crimes.

A piece from the Washington Post & Times Herald, titled "Axiom, Shmaxiom", tells of Professor Ernest O. Lawrence of the University of California having imparted to the world the discovery of a new atomic particle, the anti-proton, which could annihilate matter. It had been generated in the Berkeley Bevatron and was simple and easy to understand when the technical verbiage was removed from its announcement.

The piece surmises that the same effect could be achieved in the kitchen sink with the aid of a lemon juice strainer, an old fashioned rotary eggbeater and the seed of a large avocado or alligator, it being necessary only to calculate the ambiphrage of the decihedral, making allowances for mean solar variation and devariation, multiplied by the coefficient of means, squaring contingencies and then adding a small amount of baking soda, before extrapolating.

It indicates sarcastically that the addition to the knowledge of the world was obviously extremely important, that there was no sense in trying to turn back the clock to the "remembered, innocent days of our youth when an axiom was an axiom. Anyway, we shouldn't be at all surprised if the Atomic Energy Commission, having annihilated matter, should now turn its attention to obliterating time. We sometimes can't help wishing, though, that they'd just leave our little old solar system alone."

Drew Pearson indicates that Republicans could usually count on Democrats yelling more than they produced, indicating that the previous winter, the Democrats, after taking control of both houses of Congress, had bragged about the probes they were going to undertake, but then having become bogged down in the Congressional routine, conducting no probes, while bragging about the probes they would conduct when Congress adjourned. But during the present adjournment, the Democrats had proceeded to go on touring the globe, probing the tourist offices, the restaurants, the nightclubs and everything else except the affairs of Congress, all at Government expense.

Senator Estes Kefauver, who had promised a major probe of the Dixon-Yates matter and juvenile delinquency, had taken a leisurely tour around Asia, though he was getting started on the probe of Dixon-Yates during the current week. Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington, who had been appropriated $200,000 to probe the television-radio-communications system of the country, found himself busy in the Northwest. Some of the members had stayed at home and done good jobs, such as Senators Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming, John Sparkman of Alabama, Thomas Hennings of Missouri and Congressmen Emanuel Celler of New York and Wright Patman of Texas. But the other probes had flopped, with the Democratic chairmen of same having been too busy touring or mending political fences to undertake them.

He indicates that the nation was built on the principle that any country editor could set up a printing press in any town of his choosing and publish a newspaper at his own risk, but that now the same principle did not apply to the medium of television. A few days earlier, the big-business minded FCC had refused licenses to the country-editor type television stations on the UHF band, by issuing its decision permitting the VHF stations to be opened in areas previously reserved for small UHF stations, putting the latter out of business. A Republican and former FCC chairman, Rosel Hyde, had said that the Commission might deal a death blow thereby to UHF television service, that the majority opinion was "premature, ill-advised and wholly inconsistent". A Democrat on the FCC, the nephew of House Speaker Sam Rayburn, Robert Bartley, agreed with Mr. Hyde, but the other Eisenhower-appointed commissioners had formed the majority which would likely result in 100 small UHF stations failing, thus limiting television broadcasting to a relatively few large stations. He indicates that the FCC decision had not only adversely impacted freedom of communication but also freedom of business to advertise, for 16 television stations owned by the major networks brought in 60 percent of the television advertising revenue the previous year, meaning that expensive television advertising had so preempted the major stations that small advertisers could not get on the air. He lists the FCC commissioners who had voted for the ruling.

Walter Lippmann discusses the admission of new members to the U.N., stating that the U.S. had been outwitted by the Soviet Union, winding up in a box from which there was no graceful exit, a "horrible example" of how to lose face, influence and make the U.S. look foolish, after those at the top had not stopped to think about what was happening and what they were doing.

He explains that the U.N. had 60 members, and that since 1950, no new member had been admitted, as every applicant had been blackballed either by the Soviets or by the Western nations, including the Soviet satellites of Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, Albania and Outer Mongolia. Others excluded were Italy, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Japan and, recently, Spain, among others. It had long been obvious that the only way to break the deadlock was through a deal with the Soviets whereby the U.S. would stop vetoing the Soviet satellites, provided the Soviets would stop vetoing those favored for admission by the U.S. The U.S. had proposed such a deal as early as 1946, whereby nine applicants, including Communist Albania and Outer Mongolia, would be admitted, a proposal supported by Nationalist China. But the Soviets had blocked the deal, insisting on considering each applicant separately.

The idea of such a package deal was revived the previous summer under the leadership of Canada, when there were 21 applicants, with Canada proposing that all of them, with the exception of the divided countries of Korea and Vietnam, be admitted, a deal supported by 25 members as sponsors of the proposal to admit 17 of the applicants. The prior September, it had been known that the Soviets would probably agree to admit 16, all except Japan, until Spain applied on September 23, also included in the Canadian-proposed package. The Soviets then agreed to support admission of Spain and Japan, but then Secretary of State Dulles and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had registered objection to Outer Mongolia, though accepting of Albania.

They did not anticipate the outcome, though Mr. Lippmann suggests that they should have, that the U.S. became the sole obstacle to the admission of Italy, Spain, Japan and the other countries whose good will the U.S. desired to maintain. Thus, the U.S. had been outwitted by objecting to Outer Mongolia, blocking the package deal favored by almost all of the other 60 members.

Now, the U.S. had decided to abstain on the matter to avoid the opprobrium of the world should it cause the package deal to fail. The U.S. was reduced to the humiliating position of working behind the scenes to persuade other nations that despite its abstention, it desired the others to vote for Outer Mongolia so that the deal would pass.

Mr. Lippmann regards it as a "dismal performance", the result of Secretary Dulles and Ambassador Lodge not taking the trouble to think out what they were doing, not the result of the guile of the Russians or clamor from Congress or pressure from an Outer Mongolian group of refugees, or the lack of armaments or money, just the lack of "reasonable, not very difficult or far-reaching, foresight."

Marquis Childs, writing from New Delhi, indicates that despite the complexity of the vast subcontinent of India, its princely states and huge provinces, those who knew it well were beginning to see the threads of unity which had begun with the achievement of independence eight years earlier. To that undertaking, the U.S. had contributed, through June 30, more than 600 million dollars in grants and loans, not including the assistance from a half dozen private foundations, the U.S. loan providing for two million tons of wheat, in time to prevent what could have been the ruin of the whole effort following the failure of the monsoon seasons in 1950 and 1951.

Notwithstanding those efforts, relations between the U.S. and India had reached a crisis which could no longer be ignored, with the visit of the Soviet leaders having brought out prejudices on both sides which exacerbated the long-standing suspicion and distrust at a time when the Indian Government was starting a new program of construction and development. It had been reported recently that India would seek from the U.S. a loan of 1.8 billion dollars, but that was incorrect as Indian pride would prevent such a request. The second five-year plan about to be launched in India was so great, however, that a gap of 800 million dollars in foreign exchange was foreseen and if that gap were not filled, the projects for irrigation and industrialization would have to be cut back, possibly meaning defeat for India's hope to set the pace in Asia through cooperation and persuasion, in contrast to the force and coercion exerted by Communist China.

Because so much turned on the success or failure of that experiment, the hope was that the U.S. would underwrite that gap, with the Indian Finance Minister having stated that if the U.S. would do so, it was conceivable that only a small fraction of the total amount would ever actually be needed, that the mere underwriting of it would effectuate the Indian program.

But because of current attitudes by the U.S. and India, the underwriting was unlikely to occur, without at least some assurance from the outside that the plan would fall short but not so far short as to have a crippling effect for the future. At worst, India would fall under the Communist sphere of influence, lured by Soviet promises and some small performance of aid.

A major source of Indian distrust was the type of economic colonialism which placed certain countries in the role of raw material producers for other countries with advanced technology, with India wanting to become self-sustaining on a continental scale in both industry and agriculture, the resources for which, they believed they had.

India's relationship with less powerful nations tended to be much easier even when issues of aid and its use were involved. When Canada's Minister of External Affairs, Lester Pearson, had come to India recently, he had been warmly received, having stressed in two public addresses the peaceful intentions of both Canada and the U.S. and the way in which Canada could work with the U.S. in close cooperation without jeopardizing its own independence.

The Soviet offensive, both economic and diplomatic, was being pushed hard through Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and Premier Nikolai Bulganin, as they ended their tour of the region in Afghanistan, where Communism had already exploited territorial differences with Pakistan and the arms pact between the U.S. and Pakistan. Soviet aid to Afghanistan had taken the form of paving the streets of Kabul, providing the first tax revenue that city had ever received, plus building grain storage bins which were brightly painted and illuminated at night so that all residents of the city could see the results of Soviet aid.

Mr. Childs indicates that it was late but perhaps not too late, that fortunately the U.S., with its Ambassador to India, John Sherman Cooper, understanding the urgency of what had to be done.

A letter writer from Monroe indicates that 50 years earlier, Upton Sinclair had initiated a personal campaign against the dangerous unsanitary practices of the meat industry, with Federal meat inspection having become a reality in 1907 and the provisions of the Federal Meat Regulation and Inspection Service having been extended in mid-1914. Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, Representative Lenora Sullivan and Representative Melvin Price, he indicates, were waging a valiant fight, without the needed support of an indifferent public, regarding the possible contamination of poultry. A doctor, who was a consultant to the Poultry Inspection and Sanitation Division of the Public Health Service, had said that in 1948, a study of over 8,000 cases of food-borne disease reported in the states had indicated that nearly 2,500 were attributed to poultry dishes and that an equal proportion had been reported each year since 1948, that such diseases could be transmitted to humans not only through the consumption of poultry but by merely handling the diseased flesh during preparation. Such diseases included parrot fever, Newcastle's disease, meningitis and a wide variety of bacterial infections similar to typhoid and tuberculosis. The writer asks why the poultry industry was exempt from the Federal meat inspection laws and urges that it was past time that the people demanded that the Government protect them from the latent dangers peculiar to the poultry industry.

Maybe they're chicken, because of the potential for lost funding to campaigns and lost votes among the poultry farmers and those in sympathy with them.

We note, incidentally, that because we have fallen behind by about five weeks over the course of the year, we are jumping ahead this date to December from our last posted edition of October 25, and will continue forward henceforth daily, while going back and filling in the interim dates on a regular daily basis until caught up. Sorry for any loss of continuity but so little of note was happening in the world of November, 1955, with the President sidelined for his heart attack recovery and the Congress out of session, that it is unlikely to present any great challenge to the reader.

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