The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 8, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had met with his top advisers at Camp David this date, in an intense session aimed at completing the following year's defense budget while balancing the budget and providing for a tax cut if possible. Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey said, just prior to the start of the talks, that he did not "give a damn" what the indications were, he believed they were going to balance the budget for the current fiscal year. He and Budget Bureau director Rowland Hughes had expressed hope that the following year's budget could also be balanced. Secretary Humphrey, when asked about the prospect of a tax cut, said only that he expected the President to make a statement about it in the State of the Union message to Congress in January. It was the most intensive day of work which the President had undertaken since his heart attack on September 24, also meeting with Secretary of State Dulles before a scheduled National Security Council meeting, which was expected to last most of the day.

Comments by Republican Senators this date amounted to an apparent attempt to place a Tammany Hall label on Governor Averell Harriman of New York. White House press secretary James Hagerty, in referring to a statement made by Tammany leader Carmine DeSapio the previous day, told the press at Gettysburg that Governor Harriman was the first man in history to be "nominated" for the presidency by Tammany Hall. He also said that for a man who was not a candidate, the Governor allowed himself to be put in a candidate's position by the leader of Tammany. Mr. DeSapio, the chief advocate for Governor Harriman becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, had said in a radio talk the prior Monday, that Tammany was the New York County Democratic organization and that "except for the myth that has been created … it is no different from any other organization." Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa had said in an interview, regarding Governor Harriman, "I've assumed he is a Tammany Hall candidate." Senator Francis Case of South Dakota said that Governor Harriman might not be a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination but "at least the leader of Tammany Hall seems intent on making him one." Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah said that Tammany had wanted to name a candidate in the past but that no one who had a chance for the prize wanted "the handicap of Tammany Hall." Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana said that Mr. Hagerty could speak for himself and that Democrats would speak for themselves.

Reports from Communist East Berlin indicated that two U.S. soldiers arrested after a street fight had been turned over to Soviet military authorities, with the Army spokesman indicating that the Russians had made no reply yet to an American inquiry addressed to them after the Government-controlled press and radio in East Berlin reported that the two soldiers had been arrested the previous day. The soldiers were not identified and U.S. authorities said that a quick check of records did not show anyone absent without leave. U.S. authorities said that they were pleasantly surprised that the two men had been turned over to the Russians, as they feared the East Germans might make a test case of the incident and that the Soviets would support them. Recently, the Soviets had declared East Berlin no longer occupied and sovereign. The East Berlin account said that the two soldiers had been arrested after they had attacked a nightclub performer outside a bar in East Berlin and beat the person unconscious after calling him a "dirty Communist".

The Agriculture Department, in its final report of the year, estimated that the Government-controlled cotton crop for the year would be 14,663,000 bales of 500 pounds gross weight each, 180,000 bales fewer than the previous month's forecast, a million bales higher than the previous year and 1.7 million bales higher than the ten-year average, far above the Government's goal of ten million bales for the year.

In New York, the AFL-CIO neared the end of its first convention after its merger, with disagreement over arranging talks for a labor peace pact with business. George Meany, president of the merged organization, said that representatives of the National Association of Manufacturers had talked with him and accepted a bid to discuss a live-and-let-live arrangement, but the NAM had denied having agreed to any such discussions. The chairman of the board of NAM expressed surprise that Mr. Meany was making such an overture and did not say anything negative regarding such a possible peace. He said that while Mr. Meany had been invited to address a NAM luncheon the following day, no authorized representative of NAM had been in contact with Mr. Meany except to invite him and make arrangements for the speaking engagement. The previous day, the convention had established its Industrial Union Department without difficulty, the IUD having been created as a home for former CIO unions, with trouble having been hinted because of the application of some former AFL unions for entry to the IUD. Adlai Stevenson was scheduled to deliver a speech to the convention this date, and after the speech, the convention was scheduled to take up a resolution outlining AFL-CIO political plans for the coming election campaign and wind up the convention.

North American Airlines, for some years the nation's largest nonscheduled airline, this date proposed to operate a regular air coach service across the Atlantic at fares less than half of the present rates. While it was fighting an order by the Civil Aeronautics Board which would halt its operations, it asked the CAB for permission to begin the new service on April 1. An example of the fares would be New York to Shannon, Ireland, for $125, compared with the present coach fare of $261, New York to London, $140, compared to $290, etc.

In Van Nuys, Calif., a woman's automobile collided with another car and she was thrown to the street, whereupon her car spun around and ran over her, her own car killing her. The driver of the other car was hospitalized with head injuries.

Dick Young of The News indicates that a crackdown on Charlotte eastside industrial plants, which had made no effort to comply with the industrial waste ordinance, was now imminent, with the superintendent of the City Water Department having been instructed by City Manager Henry Yancey to proceed against the plant operators who were not evidencing cooperation in the waste disposal program. A letter was being sent to the plant operators and those who did not answer the specific questions about completion by a certain date would be subject to action.

Julian Scheer of The News tells of the sister of Adlai Stevenson, Mrs. Ernest Ives of Southern Pines, having indicated that she would buy a new gown for the 1957 presidential inauguration in Washington, that she had one which would suffice if styles did not change much, but that a new one would be preferable. Mr. Scheer had interviewed her at Morrocroft Farm near Charlotte during the morning, during which she told of a story occurring three years earlier in Chicago at the time of the Democratic national convention in 1952, when "some of the girls" had gone shopping and she had seen a dress at Elizabeth Arden on sale, much too expensive for her, but rationalizing that if her brother received the nomination and won, she would need such a dress for the inauguration, so bought it, and was able to wear it to meet Queen Elizabeth. But she said she would want a new one for 1957, and would not be so premature in her purchase this time. She believed that her brother had a good chance of winning the nomination and also the presidency, given the broken promises, with the Republicans having talked of peace but the world still being in distress, with peace being "like the frost on the grass outside, get the sun on it and it melts." Farm prices in the Midwest had also dropped and she urged examining the prosperity. She had done a two-part series for Ladies' Home Journal, titled "My Brother Adlai", which was also the title of a forthcoming book. She said that her brother had "blossomed" since 1952 and that the country would meet the new Adlai the following year.

Emery Wister of The News indicates that for the third successive year, thousands of Charlotte wage earners would get a bonus Christmas holiday, with most businesses and City offices closed on Saturday, December 24, and on Monday, December 26, as Christmas fell on Sunday. Much of the Christmas observance would be on Monday and most offices and plants were closed on Saturdays anyway. Another three-day holiday would be observed on the New Year's Day weekend, as stores would be closed also on January 2. Governor Luther Hodges had declared both December 26 and January 2 as banking holidays.

On the editorial page, "Negligence Was the Proper Term" indicates that the State Hospitals Board of Control had decided two things about the practice of hiring out Goldsboro mental hospital patients as field hands, one being that the program was justified by therapeutic value to the patients, and the other being that no negligence had been involved in the injury to 30 of 72 patients the previous October, when the siding had collapsed on a truck while rounding a curve as it carried the women to pick cotton in a field owned by the driver of the truck. The board had concluded that after rules and regulations were established to assure the "safety and welfare" of the patients, the program could go forward.

While it was appropriate to provide meaningful physical activity, the proper remedy, as pointed out by one member of the board, was to provide facilities for meaningful activities at the hospital, itself. The chairman of the board, John W. Umstead, Jr., agreed, but the majority of the board found obscure an equally valid point made by the same board member, that the October accident had been caused by negligence at the hospital, as no one had been present to check the truck before it departed the grounds and that the attendants who had ridden in the truck to supervise and safeguard the patients had sat in the cab. Other board members excused those practices by saying that no rules had been violated. The absence of proper rules for the program had not appeared to bother the majority.

It indicates that the prevention of future accidents rather than recrimination was the central need, and it hopes that the board, in promulgating new rules and regulations to provide for the safety and welfare of the patients, could define those terms more precisely than it had the word "negligence".

"Lewis Strauss' Option on History" indicates that Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Admiral Strauss, had said that he was "not worried about what history may write about" him. He said that he had instituted a monitoring system to detect atomic explosions in foreign countries and had fought vigorously against opponents of development of the hydrogen bomb, thus turning away an accusation before a Senate subcommittee that he and other Administration officials had deceived the President on the Dixon-Yates contract, of which he had declined to speak on the basis of privileged conversation with the President.

It indicates that Admiral Strauss had also checked the security file of a young AEC attorney who had participated in issuing a legal opinion that the Dixon-Yates contract was void because of the conflict of interest involving Adolph Wenzell, who had participated in the formulation of the contract as a consultant with the Budget Bureau while also serving as a representative of the firm financing the contract. The AEC had concealed and denied that conflict for months. Admiral Strauss had said that he had made the check on the basis of a story imparted to him by an unnamed Senator who had gotten it from a certain unnamed corporation involved in the contract controversy, determining in the end that the story was a complete fabrication.

The piece finds it a graphic illustration of the "security risk" charges being made with reckless abandon, with Admiral Strauss naming the innocent who had been accused, while shielding the pernicious accusers. It suggests that the young attorney would likely have been considered a true American if he had only concluded that everything was jake about the Dixon-Yates deal.

"Dirty Word" reports that any speculation that Davidson College athletics would become amateur was wrong, according to Tom Scott, the institution's athletic director. It finds it a weird state of affairs, however, when "amateurism" meant to the "rah-rah set" roughly what "Bolshevism" meant to Czar Nicholas.

"Nothing Finer Than Tobeyn, Carolina" quotes an Englishman, who had been called upon recently to explain American football to some companions, having merely shrugged and said: "Upward of 150 men appear to be conspiring in turns to hide the ball from the public, while moving up and down the field in a series of violent spasms."

It wants an American to explain an illusive aspect of the football business to the editors, the annual All-American selections, wondering why they were usually made before the season had gotten very much underway and by people who never saw all of the individuals they selected.

It recalls that the team had once been named by a knowledgeable person, Walter C. Camp, a graduate of the 1880 class at Yale, and whose All-America teams included Pudge Heffelfinger, Jim Thorpe, Adolph Schultz, Truxton Hare and William Heston. One knew that Mr. Camp's selections were genuine All-Americans, as he had seen them, rated them and weighed their abilities carefully against other contenders, announcing his selections at the end of the season in Harper's, and, subsequently, in Collier's. But Mr. Camp was now gone and, it posits, so was the All-America team.

It finds the only 1955 All-America team worth bothering about to be the one selected, with tongue in cheek, by Stanley Woodward of The News, whose team consisted of such players as "Yellorosa", Texas, at left end, "Schuphlofter", Buffalo, at left tackle, "Honchbakoff", Notre Dame, at left guard, "Yongabe", Lincoln, at right end, "Alhailta", USC, at quarterback, "Stazfellon", Alabama, at right halfback, etc.

It ventures as its only real regret that "Tobeyn", Carolina, had not made the first team at left halfback, on the theory that, "Nothing could be finer than Tobeyn, Carolina." It ventures some others, such as "Kamibachtol", Virginia, and "Izov", Texas.

It eschews other All-America teams, preferring Mr. Camp's Hare, Schultz, Heffelfinger, Heston and Thorpe, with possibly Frank Hinkey, Brick Muller, Wilbur Henry, Bronco Nagurski, Red Grange, Ernie Nevers and George Gipp added, against any five of the current crop. It adds that football had acquired such deviousness since the death of Mr. Camp that a person could despise the game adequately without any understanding of it whatsoever.

A piece from the Sanford Herald, titled "Hollering at a Possum", indicates that on a road beyond Charlotte, a possum hunter's hollering had upset a resident who thought that someone was in distress and had called the Mecklenburg County Police. It indicates that The News had asked what the hollering was all about, to which the piece indicates that it was about possum hunting, suggesting that the only reason one hunted possums was to holler, that if the dogs were not trailing, the hunter hollered to encourage them, that if they struck a scent, the hunter hollered approval, and that if they treed, the hunter hollered to the folks accompanying him to tell them whether it sounded like the possum was up a limb or down a hole, and then hollered approval. In between hollers, one practiced hollering.

It finds that the hollering afforded by one good run was worth more than the fastest, hissingest, ugliest possum ever dumped into a croaker sack. "And it is sad news indeed that urbanism has crowded out one more little area where a possum hunter used to be able to go about his sport as loudly as he ought to."

Drew Pearson tells of California Governor Goodwin Knight being one man who was frankly campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, undaunted by reports indicating either that the President would or would not run, even trying to line up a vice-presidential running mate, having sent recently an emissary to invite Maryland Governor Theodore McKeldin to be that person. The latter, surprised by the offer, had questioned whether the emissary actually represented the Governor, though later having it confirmed by a telephone call from Governor Knight, who was then in New York. Governor McKeldin had stated that he thought it was too early for him to line up politically for 1956, but expressed his appreciation for the honor.

RNC chairman Leonard Hall had big plans for 1956, having a two million dollar television budget, according to statements he had made at the Chicago RNC rally the previous week, but having stated behind closed doors that he actually had plans to spend ten million dollars on television advertising during the campaign, that the two million dollars would be put up by the RNC, the Congressional Campaign Committee and Citizens for Eisenhower organizations, limited by law to three million dollars each in campaign expenditures. The balance would be raised by Republican front groups to be formed especially for the campaign and which would then pass into oblivion following it. Mr. Pearson notes that despite the expected ten million dollar funding, the Republicans were running into resistance from the television networks which did not want to be loaded with political programming, preempting other programs and sponsors.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Adlai Stevenson getting ready to announce plans to enter four or five presidential primaries, despite the fact that he already had commitments from about 80 percent of the delegates necessary for the Democratic nomination the following summer. His more cautious advisers had so argued, counseling him not to enter the primaries and take the risk. But others, notably Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, Barry Bingham, head of the Citizens-for-Stevenson organization, and assistant campaign manager Hyman Raskin, wanted him to enter the primaries to avoid being accused of ducking a fight with Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee. Moreover, if the polls and private soundings meant anything, Mr. Stevenson had nothing to fear from any other Democrat.

It appears therefore that the latter group had received the approval of Mr. Stevenson, though he had apparently not decided which particular primaries he would enter. The Alsops guess, however, that they would include Minnesota, where he was already committed to run, and California, where he was privately so committed. Oregon Democratic leaders wanted him to enter their primary and Mr. Stevenson could be entered without his own consent. Pennsylvania was also likely, as Mayor David Lawrence of Pittsburgh and Mayor Richardson Dillworth of Philadelphia, the latter having supported Senator Kefauver for the nomination in 1952, were solidly behind him. The Democratic leadership in New Jersey also favored Mr. Stevenson and entering the primary there was thus another strong possibility.

Florida presented a special problem, as there was concern that Senator Lyndon Johnson might be entered in that primary, where the candidate's consent was not necessary. Senator Kefauver had run strongly in Florida in 1952 against the favorite son of the South, Senator Richard Russell of Georgia. The South was key to the overall strategy of Mr. Stevenson and he had spent a couple of days recently politicking in Florida, making no commitments, but leading the Democratic leaders there to assume that he would enter the primary.

Wisconsin also presented a special problem, as it occurred only two weeks after the Minnesota primary, which would produce scheduling problems for Mr. Stevenson, and the memory lingered of Republican Wendell Willkie, whose second run for the nomination in 1944, after having been the 1940 nominee, fizzled after his early loss in Wisconsin. Chances were that Mr. Stevenson would skip Wisconsin, as well as primaries in Nebraska, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Some in the Stevenson camp wanted him to run in New Hampshire, where Senator Kefauver had staked his territory, but Mr. Stevenson's campaign manager, James Finnegan, argued that it would serve no purpose to enter a primary where the majority of the state consisted of Republicans and where Senator Kefauver had already shaken the hands of practically every Democratic New Hampshire voter.

The Alsops conclude that the odd thing was that Mr. Stevenson had not announced his intention to enter the the primaries three weeks earlier when he made his announcement that he was available for the nomination, as the announcement to enter the primaries would have gotten his candidacy off to a flying start.

Doris Fleeson indicates that the canceled Dixon-Yates contract had taken its campaign shape for 1956 the prior Monday when Wyoming Senator Joseph O'Mahoney had stated to Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss that the latter had been "deceiving the President as well as the public", that the AEC, the Budget Bureau, White House chief of staff Sherman Adams and press secretary James Hagerty, had all hurt the country "very seriously", that they should not have allowed the President to be placed in the position of not knowing what went on in his own house.

An outraged Admiral Strauss kept his voice under control as he defended his honor and record as a public servant, but refused to yield on his claim that all of his White House conversations about the contract were privileged under the doctrine of separation of powers and that he therefore did not need to say what he had said or done there.

Senator O'Mahoney had presented a picture of the President repeatedly ordering full disclosure of the facts about Dixon-Yates but being unable to enforce that decision.

The AEC had repudiated the contract on the basis that it had been formed in part by Adolph Wenzell, a New York banker, who, while he was a consultant with the Budget Bureau, had conferred with Dixon on contract financing, causing to arise a conflict of interest barred by law, rendering the contract invalid.

Senator O'Mahoney had recalled that the President had ordered a "complete chronology" regarding the contract, which had omitted Mr. Wenzell's name when the report was released to the public. The Senator read the President's subsequent assurances to reporters that the matter was an "open book" and said that reporters could get the facts from the AEC and the Budget Bureau. The Senator challenged Admiral Strauss for standing on technicalities and suggested that he return to his office and pray over his decision.

Ms. Fleeson indicates that whatever the legal status of the privilege claimed by Admiral Strauss, Budget director Rowland Hughes and the Securities & Exchange officials involved, it had placed them in a position of seeming to shield secrets, exacerbating the issue they had wished to bury.

Secrets in Washington invited investigation and the probable result of the privilege presently being asserted would be a Senate resolution calling for a special prosecutor to get at all of the facts surrounding Dixon-Yates. As yet, there was no information about who had advised the President to bring in the AEC as a power broker or who had persuaded him personally to order it to form the contract after the AEC majority had refused to approve it. The Administration had admitted bungling the execution of the contract by now repudiating it. But there was no indication that the President had reprimanded those responsible for his embarrassment in the matter, both personally and politically.

Ms. Fleeson offers that the end result was to transform the contract from a private versus public power fight into, at least, a series of bad blunders by the Administration. The present hearings showed what the Democrats were doing with it.

A letter writer says that she had attended the performance in Charlotte of Queen Elizabeth's Scots Guard the previous week and, following the performance, had gone to the parking lot to find her car, encountering difficulty in doing so because the rows were not marked with any designations. She urges doing so.

A letter writer, president of the Charlotte Music Club, expresses thanks to Charles Kuralt, Helen Parks, Edwin Bergamini and the other members of the staff of The News for what they had done to make the previous Sunday performance of Handel's Messiah an outstanding success. She indicates that the generous publicity had been a major contributing factor to the overflowing attendance, with people having shown up 2 1/2 hours before the scheduled start. She also thanks WBT radio, WBTV and the Union National Bank for securing the Auditorium for the performance.

A letter writer indicates that the only thing wrong with the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and the recent Interstate Commerce Commission order banning segregation in interstate travel was that no one paid them any real attention. He finds that people announced their intentions, and then appointed committees, wants to know when the people of the South were going to toe the mark and really obey the law, urging that they could not stall forever.

A letter writer wonders whether the loudest outcry against the proposed abandonment of interscholastic athletics competition in the junior high schools of Charlotte was not coming from coaches who might lose their jobs.

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.