The Charlotte News

Friday, February 4, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. in New York, diplomats consulted this date regarding the next step in the quest for peace in the area of Formosa, generally agreeing that the U.N. could do little in the face of the boycott by Communist China of the proposed Security Council cease-fire talks, after an invitation by the Security Council had been rejected the previous day by Communist Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai. Three courses appeared open to the Council, to make another effort to persuade Chou to send a representative, to debate the problem without participation of the Chinese Communists, or to seek to arrange a conference outside the U.N., at which the China problem would be discussed, the latter being the most likely of the three possibilities. Chou had responded to the invitation by saying that Communist China would not send a representative unless the Security Council ousted Nationalist China as a permanent member and provided Communist China that seat, that even if that were done, he would only send a representative to discuss the Soviet charges of U.S. aggression against China, not to debate the cease-fire proposal, causing most diplomats at the U.N. to believe that there was no chance of compromise. Some U.S. leaders, however, were more optimistic, with Senator Walter George of Georgia, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, having said that the reply by Communist China might be a "propaganda bluff", and Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, the senior Republican on that Committee's Far Eastern subcommittee, having said that the Communist Chinese were "maneuvering for position" and that their answer was not final. A statement from the State Department expressed regret at Communist China's "further flouting of the United Nations". It said that the U.S. would be consulting with other Security Council members to establish a further meeting on the proposed cease-fire and the Soviet charges regarding alleged U.S. aggression against Communist.

In New York, former Communist Harvey Matusow, who had recanted much of his prior testimony and statements regarding alleged Communist infiltration of various organizations and the allegation that the works of Owen Lattimore had been used by the Communist Party as a guide, said that he had used "false documents and materials" from the office of Senator McCarthy as campaign material against several Western Democratic Senatorial candidates during the 1952 campaign. He said that he had campaigned in 1952 against candidates in Montana, Idaho, Utah and Washington, but only mentioned by name then-Congressman Mike Mansfield of Montana, who went on to win the contest. He had quoted material from the Congressional Record, which had been reprinted in the Communist publication, New Masses, giving the false impression that Mr. Mansfield had written an article for that publication. He also said that an aide to Senator McCarthy, Don Surine, and another assistant, Jean Kerr, since having become Senator McCarthy's wife, were aware during the campaign of his false statements and use of false documents. Senator McCarthy was not available for comment. Mr. Matusow, the subject of an editorial this date, had sworn the previous Monday that he had given false testimony which helped to convict 13 Communist second-tier leaders of conspiracy in 1952, and denied that the Communist Party had planted him as a witness to provide fake testimony so that Congressional investigating committees would be discredited. Representative Francis Walter of Pennsylvania, current chairman of HUAC, said the previous day that there was no question that Mr. Matusow had been a Communist "plant".

In Washington, the Justice Department announced that it would appeal the decision of Federal District Court Judge Luther Youngdahl, dismissing the two-count second indictment for perjury against Mr. Lattimore as being unconstitutionally vague under the Sixth Amendment, not properly apprising the defendant of the charges against him such that he could properly prepare his defense. The perjury indictments had contended that Mr. Lattimore had lied before a grand jury about not having ever been a follower of the Communist line or a promoter of Communist interests. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals would, the following June, affirm the judge's dismissal of the indictment by default, as the Court would split 4 to 4, leaving the lower court judgment in place, thus ending the case against Mr. Lattimore. The first indictment had been dismissed earlier by Judge Youngdahl for the same reasons, but two of the counts had been reinstated by the Court of Appeals.

Also in Washington, the Justice Department announced that the Government would appeal the decision of a Federal District Court in Chicago dismissing an antitrust action against the du Pont Co. and members of the du Pont family, the action also having included General Motors and U.S. Rubber Co. The action had been filed in the summer of 1949 and was generally regarded as one of the biggest antitrust actions ever initiated, with the defendant companies having assets totaling more than five billion dollars.

In Raleigh, State Senator F. J. Blythe of Charlotte this date introduced two bills affecting zoning and planning in the state, of major importance to Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, both concerned with perimeter zoning and land regulation, unanimously endorsed by the Mecklenburg delegation to the General Assembly and by the City Council and the County Commission. Legislation to realign the state's Superior Court districts was also introduced in both houses of the Assembly, bills aimed at increasing the number of regular resident judges and at reducing or eliminating special judges.

In Hendersonville, N.C., Governor Luther Hodges said this date that North Carolina was a "conservative, progressive state operating squarely in the middle of the fiscal road". He said the state was conservative in that it was unwilling to make spending commitments unless and until it felt that the expenditure was really justified, and until it knew from whence the money would come, that it was progressive in that it continually planned for the future, gearing its policies "to meet the changing spirit of the times". The Governor's speech marked the ground-breaking nearby of a new General Electric Co. multi-million dollar outdoor lighting manufacturing plant.

In Charlotte, more than 700 North Carolina Young Republicans began arriving this date for the statewide YRC convention at the Hotel Charlotte, a three-day rally which would hear speeches from Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona and North Carolina Congressman Charles Jonas, scheduled for the following day and evening, Senator Goldwater to speak on Saturday night. Mark it down, you Young Republicans, as you don't want to miss that one.

Dick Young of The News indicates that completion of the final two-mile stretch of the western link of Independence Boulevard could occur well ahead of the target date of January 1, 1956, as much progress was being made, in spite of the recent winter weather, with all indications pointed to an earlier completion date for the project.

"Winter sank frosty white fangs into the tender flesh of the Carolinas again today." We do not think we wish to read any more of that salacious report, appealing to prurient interests.

In Lansing, Mich., the Michigan Senate sat in silence when a letter was read from a Chicago woman, addressed to the State Highway commissioner, saying that the previous summer, she and her husband had decided to take a trip to Michigan to see the Soo locks, but after having driven several hundred miles and arriving at Mackinaw City, they learned that there was an hour-long ride by boat and another hundred miles of driving by automobile to reach the locks. In disgust, they had turned around and returned to Chicago. She wanted to know why the locks were built so far away from metropolitan cities, thus depriving people of a wonderful sight.

On the editorial page, "Matusow Case Illustrates Reality of Fearful, Conformist Atmosphere" indicates that on December 11, 1952, a Federal District Court Judge in New York had denied a motion for mistrial made by attorneys for 13 American Communist second-tier leaders, arguing that the jurors could not deliberate fairly in the prevailing anti-Communist climate, and sought a referral by the court to the grand jury for investigation of the testimony of three of the witnesses, motions denied by the court, saying that it did not believe public feeling against Communism had reached the point where it would improperly affect persons of ordinary "fortitude, conscience and morals."

It suggests that the judge had overestimated the fortitude and conscience of the citizenry, as during the current week, the same judge had directed a grand jury to hear one of the three witnesses who had been challenged earlier by the Communists' attorneys, Harvey Matusow, who now admitted to having lied in his prior testimony. He had testified that he was a former Communist between 1947 and 1951, when he was expelled from the party after furnishing information to the FBI for about a year, then testified frequently before Congress during 1951 and 1952, testifying in August, 1952 that the Boy Scouts had been infiltrated by a Communist plot.

At the time, the newspaper had decided to check on his veracity, reading his testimony, reports of speeches he had made against liberal Congressional candidates during the 1952 campaign and perusing the handbills he had distributed in the venues where he spoke, finding that he claimed that the churches, press, schools, State Department, the U.N., radio networks, the YWCA, the YMCA, and labor unions, in addition to the Boy Scouts, were all infiltrated by Communists. It found that he had made preposterous statements, such as that the New York Times had well over 100 dues-paying Communist members on its staff, that Time Magazine had 76 members working in editorial and research areas. The newspaper had found that such statements had not even been challenged by the members of Congress before whom he testified or by staff members. The findings of the newspaper were then forwarded to members of Congress who had used Mr. Matusow as a witness, and to the American Legion Magazine, which had published an article by him.

The information, however, believed to be the first collected of its kind, had not been appreciated, with only one member of HUAC having sent a reply, saying that he was sorry that the News editorial had been "so far off the beam", criticizing "the effort to make it appear that my committee had received testimony which it either knew or should have known was false." The previous day, the current chairman of HUAC, Congressman Francis Walter of Pennsylvania, had said that in light of the admissions of Mr. Matusow, he was convinced that he had always been a Communist "plant".

The American Legion Magazine's editor had responded that he was surprised at the statements of the newspaper and suggested that Mr. Matusow would have a good libel case as a result.

The late Senator Pat McCarran, chairman of the Senate Internal Security Committee, which had frequently used Mr. Matusow as a witness, had previously been questioned by the newspaper regarding the latter's veracity, but Senator McCarran had been satisfied with him.

It indicates that members of Congress had therefore refused to discredit Mr. Matusow as a witness because he had said what they wanted him to say and so they helped to build his reputation, with the press also assisting by sensationalizing and distorting some of his earlier testimony.

Mr. Matusow had now admitted that he lied about former State Department Far East adviser Owen Lattimore, whose second indictment for perjury, after the heart of the first indictment had been dismissed as overly vague, had also been dismissed on January 20, and, as the front page states this date, was being appealed by the Government, though the dismissal would be affirmed by an evenly divided Court of Appeals the following June. He had also admitted lying regarding some of the 13 Communist second-tier leaders, about then-Congressman Mike Mansfield when he was running for the Senate for the first time in 1952, about Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, and about Communist infiltration of the press, particularly the New York Times and Time Magazine. It indicates that almost every day, he had made a recent recantation of his prior statements or testimony, with the purpose, it assumes, of getting back into the headlines so that his new book, False Witness, telling of his admissions, would sell well.

It suggests that perhaps his story might "convince the doubtful of the reality of the fearful, conformist atmosphere which permitted this faker to thrive for three years." It might also persuade the Government and investigating committees to refrain from using "disreputable witnesses".

"Learning To Aim a Deadly Weapon" tells of a joint meeting of the PTA and the Parents League of Charlotte held at Myers Park High School during the week, to organize a campaign for improved teenage driver education courses in the schools of the state.

It indicates that there was no question of the need for such an expanded program, as the records showed that teenagers who took driving courses had far fewer accidents than those who did not. But only 240 of the state's 1,000 high schools presently had such courses, and four of those were located in Charlotte. It reminds that 21 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred among drivers between ages 16 and 19, and that the same age group also committed a high percentage of all violations of the law generally. Thus, it urges the schools to expand the program of driver education.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "M-M-M—But Let's Be Loyal", tells of it being National Frankfurter and Sauerkraut Week, that which everyone had been waiting for, but questions how the hot dogs would feel, having been an American institution for generations, becoming internationally famous as such. Though they might have once belonged to the frankfurter family, hot dogs had achieved fame in their own right, and were now as American as corn on the cob. It thus questions whether they should now have to revert to their European ancestry and again become frankfurters.

It wants it strictly understood that celebration of the week implied no disloyalty to the hot dog, and with that understanding, turned back to the sauerkraut, as it recalled the joys of National Egg Week, which had just passed, and looked forward to National Molasses Week, National Honey Week, National Apple Week, National Cherry Week, and National Dairy Week, still ahead. "Won't it be a wonderful year?"

That was perhaps why they had the great grandson of the inventor of the frankfurter in 1805 on "I've Got a Secret" two days earlier, but they did not mention the commemoration of the week. Perhaps, they did not know. But you now know.

The Sanford (N.C.) Herald tells of a friend remarking about the popularity of an experimental collection of Confederate Civil War songs and yells, to be expanded later. It finds it not surprising, as the Rebels had some fine songs of which they made good use, sometimes accompanied by fiddle or banjo, but most often sung a cappella. Publishing firms, such as Blackmar and Werlein of New Orleans, Schreiner of Macon and J. W. Randolph of Richmond, had produced a large quantity of sheet music, and Northern publishers had sent Rebel tunes through the blockade. The Duke University Library had an outstanding collection of Confederate sheet music.

It indicates that although "Dixie" and "Bonnie Blue Flag" were the songs most often identified with the South, "Home Sweet Home" was the most frequently sung by the Confederate soldiers. "Lorena" and "All Quiet on the Potomac Tonight" were also quite popular, as were "Annie Laurie" and "Juanita" with the schoolchildren. Among the glee clubs and company quarters, "Annie of the Vale", "Sweet Evelina", "Lilly Dale", "The Girl I Left Behind Me", "Bell Brandon", "Her Bright Eyes Still Haunt Me", "Listen to the Mocking Bird" and "Just Before the Battle, Mother", were quite popular. The latter, as with some others, were borrowed from the Yankees, while the Yankees borrowed "Lorena" and sometimes even marched to "Dixie". In like fashion, during World War II, it notes, American soldiers in Germany took over "Lili Marlene" from the enemy.

Among Southern troops, variations and parodies of "Dixie" were sung. It indicates that the sentimental tunes were preferred, but there were others as well, not always in good taste, such as one which it quotes, in which a North Carolina outfit had paid tribute to the girls back home in Kenansville. Sample: "But who shall be the toast, I say,/ Who shall be the toast, Miss K?/ If eyes of azure & bright & beaming/ With angels' smiles will set you dreaming/ Then indeed the toast will be/ A bumber full for lovely Annie—/ If eyes as dark as the gazelle's/ Brightly flashing warm your fancy/ Drink to ½ Doz belles/ But G may drink to lovely Nancy..."

Bell Irvin Wiley had collected letters sent home from Rebel soldiers in The Life of Johnny Reb, which it regards as the best presentation of the Civil War common soldier ever attempted, and in which the author had noted that the Confederate troops often wrote appreciatively of the prowess of informal camp musicians, quoting from the book one such letter of a soldier stationed in Kentucky, written to a cousin in Mississippi, praising the fiddle music in camp. Mr. Wiley had recounted that a favorite exercise of musicians was to go about at night serenading fellow soldiers of the encampments and young ladies of the countryside, with the serenading of popular officers having elicited "the maximum of jollity". Again the piece quotes from a letter set down in the book.

It concludes that soldiering had changed quite a lot in the interim, that one could not imagine Fort Bragg soldiers hiking over to cheer the commanding officer with a few stanzas from "Let Me Go, Lover" or "Papa Loves Mambo".

Drew Pearson tells of Ambassador to Spain James Dunn having given secret testimony to a Congressional committee regarding Spain, the chief Fascist nation left in the world, providing high praise to dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco, dripping "almost like syrup" as he told the committee of the advantages of Fascism. During the present month, Mr. Dunn had been transferred to Brazil. He was a career diplomat who had as his croquet partner former Secretary of State Cordell Hull. He had vigorously advocated for recognition of Spain and had urged an arms embargo against the Spanish Loyalist Government to help Franco during the Spanish civil war during the 1930's. He had provided his testimony when members of Congress had visited Spain during the prior September, telling them that Sr. Franco was solid with the Spanish people, except for a certain amount of labor opposition, that relations with the U.S. were rosy, and that Franco would be able to carry on for another decade while his dictatorship would continue for 25 years. He had even praised Franco's regimentation of women.

Congresswoman Katharine St. George of New York was skeptical, asking the Ambassador who might take over should Franco be pushed out of the picture, to which the Ambassador had replied that a lot of thought had been given to that possibility, but that Generalissimo Franco was 61 years old and in very good health, should last another decade or so as he took very good care of himself, but that he was convinced that if anything should happen to him, there was someone in Spain in the higher levels of the Government who would be selected to carry on in his place and that he had arranged to name his successor. He said that there would be a non-representative regime in power, which nevertheless was "fairly mild", for at least ten more years and possibly 25, before there would be a return to representative government.

Congressman Charles Brownson of Indiana asked whether there were any personal differences between U.S. administrators and the Spanish Government, to which the Ambassador replied that there were not, "a new sensation", he said, across the world.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the Ambassador had omitted the manner in which Franco had increased certain U.S. military costs at the last moment and the problems encountered by the Air Force regarding the right of Protestant G.I.'s to marry Spanish girls without joining the Catholic Church or receiving approval from the Church. He says that Ambassador Dunn was enthusiastic about the Communist-like regimentation of Spanish women, with the women all organized and every young girl from about 17 to 19 having to serve at least six months in some social service, either helping at a hospital or producing something, Mr. Dunn adding that they had a very fine school in which they trained the leaders of the girls. Mr. Pearson finds Ambassador Dunn's conclusion uncomfortably like the apologies Nazi leaders had made for the Hitler youth movement, with Mr. Dunn saying that he had seen the women's organization in operation and that it did not do them any harm, that they learned a certain amount of discipline and order in a movement which was always inculcating the doctrine of patriotism. He concluded that it was not a bad idea, apparently unmindful of how closely the Fascist system resembled the same training methods of the country the U.S. was opposing in Russia.

Doris Fleeson indicates that while some of the President's appointees might never be confirmed, it was only a matter of time until Justice-designate John Harlan would be, that his confirmation was only bogged down temporarily in private animosities and "shiftless practices" of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, a likable liberal who had, thus far, not put a firm end to the Pat McCarran era of the Committee. The latter had run it with a high hand, punishing foes and helping friends as he saw fit, a practice not materially changed during the two years of control by the Republicans, during which Senator William Langer of North Dakota was the chairman and Senator William Jenner of Indiana was chair of the Internal Security subcommittee. The latter two Senators had retained the staff of Senator McCarran, which Senator Kilgore had intended to change but had not yet made up his mind on all subcommittee composition and so had not yet settled staff problems.

Judge Harlan was caught in the general postponement of anything important or controversial, though there was no practical reason for delaying the first hearing on his nomination until February 24, a Republican vacation to celebrate Lincoln Day dinners being only a convenient excuse.

She indicates that some Southerners believed it was rubbing it in to send to the Supreme Court the grandson of the Justice of the same name who cast the only dissenting vote in the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, creating the separate but equal doctrine whereby segregation could pass constitutional muster under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause, until Brown v. Board of Education had overturned the decision the prior May 17. The Court had postponed oral arguments in the implementing decision from the prior December indefinitely until Justice Harlan would be confirmed, as Chief Justice Earl Warren wanted a full complement of the Court to hear and decide the implementing decision.

Ms. Fleeson says that Senator James Eastland of Mississippi was primarily to blame for the delay, but he could not, alone, hold up the confirmation, and more responsible Southerners, Senators Walter George and Richard Russell of Georgia, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson and the Whip, Senator Earle Clements of Kentucky, also had to share in the blame. She says that they were playing a game of their own on the Judiciary Committee and did not want to endanger their victory by annoying any member who would be on their side. They did not want to see Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee chair the anti-monopoly subcommittee, which was bound to attract press attention and again position the Senator for a run at the Democratic nomination in 1956, as his nationally televised hearings on organized crime had done in 1950-51, causing him to be an early front-runner for the nomination. The other Southern Senators complained that Senator Kefauver would not work except on investigations and there was some merit, Ms. Fleeson suggests, to their rationalizations.

She concludes that possibly the Southern Senators derived some satisfaction from delaying the Court in its implementing decision in Brown, but that it could only be a delaying action at best, while causing tempers to rise elsewhere with harmful effect.

A letter writer responds to the letter written by Charles Crutchfield, executive vice-president of Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Co., explaining why the company had petitioned successfully to the City Council to have the street on which it was building a new facility renamed from Henry Street to Jefferson Place, and the number taken out of order to reflect number 1, this writer finding Mr. Crutchfield illogical in his defense of the request and of the City Council in granting it. He suggests, however, that out of the matter might come the revelation to the new planning director of the lack of backing he would receive from the City Council, as a smoke abatement engineer had discovered several years earlier.

A letter writer from College Park, Md., indicates that in the January 24 issue of Linn's Weekly Stamp News, out of Sydney, O., a recent editorial from The News, regarding the U.S. commemorative stamp policy, had been quoted, the writer finding it a fine editorial, reflecting sane and practical values. He says that most philatelists would agree with the editorial regarding the ugliness, ineptness and superfluity of a large portion of the commemorative stamps. He indicates that there was one point on which they were misinformed, however, that being the cost to the taxpayers of the commemorative stamps, which, according to the Post Office, did not cost taxpayers anything, as sales through the Philatelic Agency paid for the stamps many times over.

The letter writer refers to an editorial, "Stop the Presses, Mr. Postmaster", which appeared December 22, 1954, the one date from 1954 we have not yet summarized.

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