The Charlotte News

Friday, February 11, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Washington, Government officials were reportedly convinced, on the basis of careful analysis, that there would eventually be additional trouble among the small group of men now ruling Russia, following the shakeup earlier in the week at the Kremlin, which had placed Nikolai Bulganin as the new Premier and Georgi Zhukov as the new Defense Minister, with the emergence to greater power of Communist Party chairman Nikita Khrushchev, considered to be the new strong man, all seen as the beginning of a third phase in the struggle for power since the death of Premier Joseph Stalin in March, 1953. Most officials concerned with analyzing the Soviets agreed on several conclusions, that the massive Soviet system required a dictator for its most effective operations, tending to produce a dictator when it did not have one, that there was more evidence than ever that since Stalin's death, the dozen men who bossed the Communist system had been caught up in personal rivalries and that those struggles would continue until a new dictator would clearly emerge, that while Mr. Khrushchev was the strong man at present, his power could not yet be considered firmly established. They also believed that the Soviet Army had gained in the appearance of political strength and authority, but whether it was real, remained uncertain, and that the Old Bolsheviks were the most powerful group within the Presidium of the Central Committee of the party, the men who had worked with Stalin from the days of the Revolution of 1917, including Premier Bulganin, Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, President Klementi Voroshilov, Lazar Kaganovich, and A. I. Mikoyan. The U.S. specialists on Russia believed that these Old Bolsheviks had removed Mr. Malenkov because of either his "soft" foreign-policy line or his domestic policies which had failed to stimulate industrial and agricultural production. Some Government officials were convinced that the Red Army was on the upgrade, with the elevation of Marshal Zhukov to Defense Minister.

In Washington, the Federal Communications Commission announced this date that it would explore every phase of a proposed subscription television service before taking any action on the matter. It had turned down a recent petition by Zenith Radio Corp. of Chicago, seeking a tv subscription system without extensive hearings, saying it did not believe it would be appropriate at the current time to authorize subscription television operation on a case-by-case basis, as had been requested by Zenith. Various plans for such subscription television had been before the FCC for three years. The Commission invited comment from interested parties and the public generally, to be filed by May 9. You had better get in your statement, unless you want the free ride to end.

In Denver, Colo., a businessman filed suit in U.S. District Court the previous day, charging a monopoly in the small arms ammunition field and demanding $475,000 in damages. He ran a downtown store, indicating that he had been without a stock of ammunition for a year because he refused to sign a fair trade agreement with two firms which supplied ammunition.

In Raleigh, the State Senate Roads Committee rejected proposals to increase speeds on the highways of the state, killing bills which would have increased the speed limit for heavy trucks from 45 to 55 mph and would have allowed the Highway Commission and the Motor Vehicles commissioner to fix speed zones of up to 65 mph for automobiles and light trucks on sections of the state's highways. Motor Vehicles commissioner Ed Scheidt had opposed both bills, saying that trucks were not slowing traffic by going 45 mph, but that the back-ups were caused by trucks having to slow down on hills to 10 mph and then zooming along the downgrade so that motorists could not pass them, that permitting the trucks to go faster than 45 would pose a tremendous risk because of the heavy loads being carried.

Emery Wister of The News reports that the City Coach Co. would construct a $250,000 building for its headquarters in Charlotte.

Julian Scheer of The News reports from Raleigh that approximately one out of every four black children born in Charlotte in recent years had been born out of wedlock and that about 11 percent of those children were cared for by the County Welfare office, the figures having come to light this date following a hearing regarding a bill introduced by a State Representative and heard before a State House Welfare Committee, with backing from Mecklenburg County's Representative James Fogler, proposing to cut off relief after a second illegitimate child and to tighten up assistance. The sponsor of the bill said that he did not understand why the Federal Government should support "houses of prostitution", referring to the fact that the mother of an illegitimate child received $30 per month for herself and another $30 for the first child born out of wedlock, thereafter receiving $21.75 for each subsequent illegitimate child, with the money coming from the state, county and Federal funding. Representative Vogler had said that the program encouraged "planned illegitimate families". The statistics showed no decline in illegitimate births of black children and a static number of white illegitimate births. The peak year for illegitimacy had been 1939, when 12.5 percent of children born in Charlotte had been illegitimate, with those accounting for 34.8 percent of all black births and 4.2 percent, of all white births. The year 1946 had been a low year, when only 6.8 percent of children were illegitimate, with the rate of black children running at 15.2 percent and white, at 3 percent, of the respective populations. In 1947, the overall percentage had been 7.8 percent, 22.96 percent of all black births and 5.3 percent of all white births, in 1948, 8.6 percent overall, with 23.98 percent of all black births and 4.4 percent of all white births.

A Juvenile Court judge in Charlotte said this date, during the course of a trial involving a juvenile shooting, that he could not think of anything more dangerous than a boy going to school with a gun, strongly criticizing parents who allowed guns to be kept in places accessible to children. He had determined that a 15-year old involved in the recent shooting of a 14-year old classmate at a Charlotte junior high school ought be sent to the Eastern Carolina Training School in Rocky Mount for violating previous terms of probation, dismissing the assault with a deadly weapon charge stemming from the shooting. It had been reported on January 26 that both boys had told police that the boy with the gun was showing it to the other boy in the bathroom when it went off. The judge said that weapons such as guns, pistols and automobiles were attractive to youngsters and that parents had a tremendous responsibility in seeing that such weapons were not improperly handled. He said he had read a statement made in Huntersville the previous night by a Charlotte detective, the same who had recently testified before a North Carolina General Assembly Judiciary Committee in favor of a proposed bill to increase the severity of sentencing of "sexual deviates" involved in cases with juveniles under the age of 16, that hundreds of guns were being carried by youngsters, and the judge wanted to know about that if it were true, a liaison officer to the Juvenile Court reporting, however, that there was no evidence of such widespread carrying of guns by children in the schools. As the same judge, on February 2, had been reported as being concerned about the detective's testimony regarding a supposed rash of sexual deviancy cases in the community, correcting that he had seen three cases in the previous two months, not, as the detective claimed, in the prior few days, it appears that the detective needs to reel in his imagination, probably run away with "Dragnet", or move to Los Angeles, where he might find closer association between reality and his lurid fantasies run amok on the basis of one or two cases—though we do not discount generally the psychological relationship between fascination with guns and sexual deviancy.

A wave of harsh, stinging cold covered a broad area of the country this date, with temperatures under zero in a dozen interior states, the freezing weather extending from border to border and from the Rocky Mountains to the eastern end of the Great Lakes.

In London, England, a man arriving for court this date to answer a charge of speeding, had rammed the back of another car, with the speeding-defendant contending that the other man had stopped too quickly, while the other driver said that the defendant was not driving carefully. No damage had been done and so they went along their way. But when the defendant stepped before the court, he recognized the magistrate as the other driver, quickly pleaded guilty and was fined the equivalent of $8.40. The magistrate said that he had not let the incident influence his judgment, but still believed that the appearing defendant had been careless. He should have recused himself.

In Reno, Nev., a bartender was wondering this date what to do with two elephants he said his deceased uncle of Pensacola, Fla., an animal importer, had left him in his will, saying that his uncle had left his brother several hundred thousand dollars worth of property, but he guessed that his uncle did not like him much. Were they pink?

On the editorial page, "Water: In the Decade of Decision It Is North Carolina's No. 1 Problem" tells of the state not having enough water in the right places to support future population growth, industry and agriculture, that in the past, efforts to stay ahead of the need for water had been weak and wavering, and that the time had now come for a modern, effective program to control the use of water resources in the state, to avoid future disaster, retarding growth.

Governor Luther Hodges was developing such a program, and it finds that it deserved the support of all of the citizens of the state, even Charlotte residents, who lived in moist comfort near the banks of the Catawba River. The Governor had outlined his program before the General Assembly's Joint Committee on Conservation & Development, saying that water was the key to stable agriculture and industry needed for the state to grow.

It reminds of the drought conditions which had occurred in 1954, with the decline in the water table having produced emergency conditions in several cities, requiring rationing of water and considerable losses on farms and crippling of mill operations, requiring ultimately the seeding of clouds in a desperate attempt to try to obtain rain, with Greensboro having tried to lay a cross-county pipe to tap water from High Point's municipal lake.

While water supplies were fairly constant over the long-haul, demand was continually rising. Years earlier, almost every home had its own well, but with population increases, industrialization and urbanization, more people were getting water from public resources, turning the shortage into a complex community problem in many areas. New farm irrigation practices had added to industry's drain on local stream flow, and in the cities, the age of air conditioning had produced new requirements. In rural areas, farmers needed 650,000 gallons of water for an acre of grain. It took 21 inches of water over an acre to produce 100 bushels of corn, and there were thousands of such 100-bushel producers. To produce a ton of cotton goods in the state, a textile mill needed about 140,000 gallons of water and to produce a ton of paper, a pulp mill needed 64,000 gallons.

Normal per capita usage of water in Charlotte was 106 gallons per day, compared to per capita usage in such cities as New York being 150, Chicago, 234, Philadelphia, 168, Los Angeles, 151, etc. Yet, there had been little done in North Carolina to encourage conservation or to protect the state's watersheds. Even small things could make a difference, such as a leaky toilet producing waste.

Industry used more water than any other single resource and industry was more interested in water than in taxes of any kind, in contemplation of locating to the state.

Bills pending before the current General Assembly dealt only with control of surface water while underground water also needed attention, plus conservation and pollution, as well as soil conservation to retain water. The Governor's proposed legislation would make any natural stream, lake or other natural water body within the state a public water resource and subject it to appropriation in accordance with the proposed law, indicating that the state would exercise its police powers fully to utilize and protect its water resources, but would not deprive any individual person of any vested right in the use of water.

It urges that the General Assembly had to face the problem squarely and that practical solutions were available, finding that the Governor's program ought be enacted.

"The Real Way To Unite Allies" indicates that Communist countries were united, even if their cooperation was unwilling and forced, but that the free countries were not united, even though professing unity, setting up boards and commissions among themselves, yet with no machinery for resolving occasional fundamental conflicts between them. The result had been conflicting policies tending to cancel each other out. Little had been done to correct the widely recognized shortcoming of national sovereignty.

Thus it was pleased to see that on the prior Wednesday, 14 Senators had proposed that the President invite other democracies to name delegates from their principal political parties to meet in convention to explore and report on the extent to which their peoples might further unite within the framework of the U.N. and agree to form a defensive, economic or political union, essentially the same idea as the "Atlantic Union" proposal made by Senator Estes Kefauver and others several years earlier. It lists the 13 other Senators who had co-sponsored the resolution, including North Carolina's Senator Kerr Scott and future Vice-President and 1968 Democratic presidential nominee, Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota.

It indicates that they had to recognize the value and versatility of the federal system, which, surprisingly, was not fully recognized within the U.S., where it had originated. As had been shown in Canada and Switzerland, as well as in the U.S., the federal system was quite adaptive, permitting citizens of diverse cultures and languages to arrive democratically at a common policy.

It posits that clinging to the concept of national sovereignty was perilous in view of the danger confronting the democracies and that such a citizens' convention would do more than a dozen diplomatic conferences and hundreds of "unity" statements in creating real understanding among the allies. It hopes that the Atlantic Union resolution would be marked as urgent by the White House and Congress.

A piece from the Florida Times-Union, titled "Always Be Sociable", indicates that Austria's Supreme Court had ruled that if a man kissed a girl, it could not be considered a punishable offense even if the girl did not want to be kissed, the court having said that the kiss had become an institution of social life and thus could not be an offense against the laws even where it was said to be against the rules of good behavior.

The piece suggests that if such things were to be determined by the institutions of social life, a new question arose as to whether it would be an offense against the laws not to kiss a girl who wanted to be kissed.

Drew Pearson indicates that diplomats viewed the shakeup in Moscow during the week, vis-à-vis the U.S., as a two-way street. Communist Party chairman Nikita Khrushchev, the "new backstage dictator" of Russia, was vigorously anti-American, much more belligerent than the placid former Premier Georgi Malenkov. The reason for the shakeup had been serious unrest inside the Soviet Union, with various purges having taken place in the Soviet republics, though not headlined in the Western press, but nevertheless having been important. Part of the reason for them was to weed out the late L. P. Beria's followers and in another part to stamp out unrest. Mr. Malenkov's appeasement of the masses by giving them more food and more consumer goods had not worked, as the unrest had continued. Now, Mr. Khrushchev would try sterner methods and would gird for possible war, though the more optimistic diplomats believed he could not possibly afford one.

Russia was facing probable shortages and the climax was expected to come the following May, when there might be starvation in some areas. Whereas the U.S. now had only one-sixth of its population working as farmers, Russia had half of its population involved in agriculture, and yet the U.S. produced far more than did Russia because of modern farm machinery, better weather, better drying conditions, better know-how, Russia having only an advantage in the better soil on its steppes. Mr. Khrushchev had started the campaign to increase farm production, to lure young Russians into settling on virgin farmland and to build up "agro cities", collective farms centered around urbanized communities. He had proposed using the hybrid corn developed by former Vice-President and former Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and wanted the U.S.S.R. to increase its population from 200 million to 300 million, knowing that it was impossible unless Russia could raise more food. He had thus imposed a heavy tax on bachelors and couples with few children. Though Mr. Khrushchev had initiated the program, Mr. Malenkov had been officially in charge, but it had been a failure, as Russia lacked the tractors and farm machinery and the Russian peasant lacked the know-how to operate farm equipment or to repair it, trying to operate it without oil.

U.S. officials had been aware of the incipient upheaval but had not thought it would come quite so soon. U.S. Ambassador to Russia Charles Bohlen had wired the State Department that Messrs. Malenkov and Khrushchev were watching each other so closely that neither would leave town. One sign which had pointed to a change was a piece which appeared in a Moscow magazine in May, 1954, referring to Mr. Malenkov as "the sparrow who could never learn to fly." There had also been changes in Russian magazines, rewriting history to provide credit to Mr. Khrushchev for doing various things which he had absolutely nothing to do with, for instance including him among those who had reorganized the Red Army after the Revolution of 1917 and for helping to win World War II, when actually he had little to do with either.

New Premier Nikolai Bulganin had been a friend of Premier Malenkov, one reason diplomats believed he would not last very long, giving him about six months, at which point he could be made the scapegoat for failures, just as Mr. Malenkov was now a scapegoat.

G. L. Mehta, Ambassador of India, in a piece reprinted from the Washington Post and Times-Herald, indicates that seven years earlier, on January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi had been assassinated and that people in the U.S. had asked him whether his influence still prevailed in India and whether his work continued and he was remembered. He replies that in one respect, Gandhi's mission had been accomplished with the achievement of Indian independence in August, 1947, after having been, for nearly 30 years, the undisputed leader of India's national independence movement. While Gandhi had lived to see that independence, he was not there when the Constitution was finally adopted on January 26, 1950, embodying many of his cherished principles, being democratic and secular in nature. The fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution prohibited discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.

Gandhi had believed in the ideal of a secular state in a fundamental, human sense and it was no exaggeration to say that it was because of his uncompromising stand for human brotherhood that he had been assassinated. He was, in a true sense, his brother's keeper and India's leaders presently were continuing his expression by building the truly secular state.

Gandhi had fought all of his life against the social evil of "untouchability", which he believed to be incompatible with the teachings of Hinduism and repugnant to social justice. The Constitution abolished the practice and the current absence of any vestiges of it in Indian society was testament to the battle which Gandhi had waged on behalf of those who previously had been subject to being outcasts under that system.

Gandhi had also been a firm believer in prohibition and an article of the Constitution indicated as directive to state policy that the state governments should endeavor to bring about prohibition of all consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs injurious to health, except where used for medicinal purposes. In response, four states of India had enforced complete prohibition, while several others had adopted restrictive measures. Thus, again, was there a continuation of the principles of Gandhi.

He had also believed in revival of rural industries, especially handspinning, and the present Government had enacted a program of organizing and assisting village industries, with large funds earmarked for the purpose. Certain categories of cloth were reserved for production by hand looms, which provided employment to nearly two million people, with such industry being vital to a country which depended on its villages. The program of community development had been started on October 2, 1952, Gandhi's birthday, because the objectives of the program were nearest to his heart, the revival of 560,000 villages of India. The Second Five-Year Plan, which was presently being formulated, recognized the village as the center of national development.

Gandhi had not been an educationist any more than he had been an economist, but endeavored to view life as a whole and so was concerned about raising the status of the masses, therefore had addressed in his later years problems of education. He believed that the dignity of labor was not adequately recognized in the educational system of the country and that teaching had to be intimately related to living, favoring "learning by doing" and centering education around a craft, aspects which were currently adopted by several educational authorities in the country.

His influence also extended beyond government policies, measures and institutions, with groups of workers all over the country devoted to carrying on his work and implementing his programs, trying to live up to his principles.

The contributions which India had made during the previous seven years to the cause of international cooperation and world peace were, he suggests, in no small measure the result of Gandhi's work. "If Buddha personified India's tradition of peace in ancient days, Gandhi symbolized it during the first half of this century." He had sincerely believed that India's freedom was not worth having if it was to be won with violence and racial strife. His conception of nonviolence involved the rejection of force as the basis of international life, resulting in India's national leadership deliberately having chosen the method of peace in its struggle for independence.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Nehru, free India had sought to promote understanding and harmony between nations, which was not "neutralism", if that term implied a lack of responsibility concerning world affairs or a desire to escape international obligations or a policy of isolation. India's attitude was more positive, involving a constructive approach toward reducing world tensions and developing a firmer basis of cooperation among nations. India, for instance, had been selected by both sides for the responsibility during the Korean armistice and for the settlement in Indo-China, demonstrating confidence being placed in its integrity and impartiality.

Gandhi, during his lifetime, had swayed millions of his countrymen and, in modern times, hardly any other individual had transformed by peaceful means the outlook and habits of a vast people, without holding any office, either governmental or religious, and without the backing of military force or the support of civil authority. Yet, he had not sought to put forth any creed, formulate any ideology or establish a cult, eschewing the idea that there was a "Ghandism", a term used by some of his followers and opponents to describe his thinking. He had no doctrines and no disciples, only his way of life and his fellow workers and followers. He had sought to proclaim the truths of religion by living them, not by precept, rather by practice of such verities as truthfulness, compassion, patient justice, tolerance and, above all, love.

"Only a truly great man can vitalize and interpret the purposes of a spiritual movement and give life to its meaning and significance through his own personality. But the example of such a man's life continues to elevate and inspire generations. In this sense, a man like Gandhi cannot die."

Doris Fleeson indicates that the President's proposed school aid program did not represent a serious attempt to deal with the national emergency in education caused by the great shortage of classrooms for the growing student population. She regards it as little more than a letter of condolence to the localities and school authorities. His own commissioner of education, Samuel Brownell, brother of the Attorney General, had placed the current shortage of classrooms at 370,000, and Federal cost estimates were that more than 12 billion dollars would be needed to build those classrooms. But the President had proposed only 200 million dollars in direct aid over a period of three years, 65 million per year, which would only build, under optimum circumstances, a few thousand of the needed classrooms.

School authorities were equally skeptical about the plan. Twenty states were said to have constitutional limits which would prevent any new borrowing and in Maine and Wisconsin, the courts had declared school construction authorities unconstitutional. The school experts said that it would be at least a year before any results would be shown by the Eisenhower plan. Meanwhile, school enrollment was increasing at a rate of more than a million students per year, with it standing at 30.8 million in 1954-55, an increase of 22 percent over 1949-50.

The philosophical approach of the plan provoked as much gloom in school circles as had his practical suggestions. School officials saw it as restricting its gifts to the very poor, as the plan would provide grants and low-interest loans only to communities too poor to build their own schools. But there would be no states and few communities willing to take the pauper's oath to receive those benefits. Many of the states which spent proportionally the largest share of their revenues on education were among the most hard-pressed for classrooms.

Ms. Fleeson indicates that perhaps one trouble with the present school problem was that Washington drew to it, for the most part, successful, well-to-do, mature citizens, the children of whom were not victims of the present classroom shortage, and, as a French philosopher had said, "one bears with equanimity the misfortunes of others."

Robert C. Ruark indicates that he had noticed recently double-columned ads for an organization called Arrow, Inc., which was collecting funds to aid the American Indians, the headline of the ad reading: "Being Sorry for Ira Hayes Is Not Enough." Mr. Hayes had been one of the six men who had been photographed raising the flag on Iwo Jima, immortalized in the statuary dedicated the prior November at Arlington National Cemetery. He was a full-blooded Pima Indian, who had been found dead of exposure on January 24 at age 32 on the reservation, not having been able to handle the bottle very well. He had sought to make it off the reservation but had returned in despair, saying that he had wanted to be on his own, but that the white man in Arizona looked down on the Indian and he did not believe he stood a chance anywhere off the reservation.

Mr. Ruark suggests that many Indians, largely of mixed blood, had been able to make it off the reservation and were now proud of their Indian blood, but there were about a half million full-blooded Indians in the country, mostly on reservations, who had received "a pretty dirty shake." The latter were ravaged by disease, especially tuberculosis among the Navajo, low educational level, and, until recently, had been denied the vote, and, for the most part, earned small incomes.

He posits that his column should not have to be written at all, because Arrow, Inc., for "the relief of the benighted redskin, should not be necessary." He indicates that the noble Indian had been pushed around ever since white men had arrived on the continent and had appropriated the Indian's country. "The record of dispossession, exploitation, neglect and disinterest would rival that of any totalitarian group we are being so busy about on an international scale these days."

Despite sending aid all over the world to help other peoples, practically nothing had been done about the country's own aboriginals, and, he suggests, the least which could be done was to pause briefly in the vast international spending of the country and divert a few funds from foreign aid to the improvement of the lot of the people "who owned the real estate first."

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