The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 8, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Moscow, Premier Georgi Malenkov, 53, confessing failure through inexperience, especially in the field of agriculture, and stressing the need for heavy industrial development, had resigned at a joint session of the Supreme Soviet, saying that he would turn the post over to "another comrade with greater experience and state work", whereupon Communist Party chairman Nikita Khrushchev, 60, then nominated Marshal Nikolai Bulganin, previously Defense Minister, as the new Premier, approved by acclamation. Mr. Malenkov would be taking a new job, but it had not yet been announced what it would be.

In 1944, the late Joseph Stalin had placed Mr. Bulganin in charge of the Soviet armed forces as the Communist Party's political policeman, a post he held for more than a decade, having in the interim various titles, and for awhile no official title except as the unofficial Politburo member in charge of armed forces policy. His task was to keep the Army in line for the Communist Party, crushing any dissidence among the officer corps with swift ruthlessness, keeping career officers and generals from uniting on a common platform or plotting or politicking among themselves, while also having the contradictory role of keeping the marshals and generals and other veteran military officers contented, representing their interests and on occasion their views in the higher party councils, all the while watching closely over armed forces morale in general. He had been born in 1895 in what was now Gorky on the Volga River, with a middle-class background, attending and graduating from a commercial secondary school, then being swept up by the revolutionary currents which had dominated Russian life before and during World War I, joining the Bolsheviks before the Revolution of 1917.

Immediately following the change of leadership, in a 2 1/2 hour statement delivered before the Supreme Soviet, Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov bitterly assailed the U.S. and declared that the Soviet Union had developed hydrogen bombs with "such success that the United States could appear backward", warning that in the case of an eventual war, world civilization would not perish but rather "the rotten social system with its blood-saturated imperialism which is being rejected by oppressed peoples." He insisted that the Soviets wanted a competition with the U.S., not in the production of atomic weapons, but in the use of atomic energy for peaceful aims. He said that the U.S. was trying to lead the world into a new war with China, condemning it for aggression toward China, which he believed the U.N. should condemn if the latter wanted to retain its respect, saying that Formosa was "undoubtedly" the territory of the Chinese Communists. He also accused the U.S. of capturing Formosa and the Pescadores. He condemned the Paris pacts to rearm West Germany, and indicated that a "joint military command of the eight countries" which were participating in the Moscow conference would need be formed "to increase our defense" against the Western military alliance being formed, asserting that when they had formed their joint command, "the aggressors will restrain themselves from new adventures and behave more quietly." He referred to the Warsaw Pact, to be formed the following May.

The developments underscored that there would be an all-out Soviet concentration on heavy arms industry rather than light industry and agriculture, of which Premier Malenkov had been an advocate, that future Premier Khrushchev had emerged with prominence in the Soviet leadership, and that the Soviet Union now had a Premier who had come, at least by title, from the armed forces, though in fact having no actual combat experience. Some Western diplomats believed that the choice of Mr. Bulganin presented further evidence of the growing strength of the Army in the Soviet Government, while others speculated that the new Premier would serve as a kind of chairman of the board rather than as a personal leader, noting that Mr. Khrushchev had received a large standing ovation at the outset of his nominating speech.

In Washington, officials at the State Department reacted to the change in Soviet leadership by suggesting that it would result in a tougher Soviet foreign policy, especially in the Far East, but were reluctant to jump to any final conclusions. Mr. Khrushchev was known to U.S. diplomats as a harder man than former Premier Malenkov and had given evidence recently of strong support for the Chinese Communist position on the Formosa issue, stronger than that provided by Premier Malenkov, leading to the conclusion that the Soviets would extend greater support to Communist China in the Formosan crisis, given that Mr. Khrushchev now stood as the strongest man within the Government and would be presumed to have the dominant influence within the ruling group at the Kremlin. The demotion of Mr. Malenkov suggested that collective rule persisted for the time being in the Kremlin and that the top men still desired to show that Stalinism was over.

From Taipeh, it was reported that civilians continued to be evacuated from the Tachen Islands 200 miles north of Formosa by Nationalist Chinese landing craft and U.S. transports this date, with the U.S. Seventh Fleet protecting the evacuation. An Associated Press correspondent had reported from the amphibious flagship Estes that two carrier-based U.S. planes had been fired upon by Communist Chinese anti-aircraft batteries on Yikiangshan Island, eight miles north of the Tachens, on Monday night and at another on Tuesday morning, with none of the planes being hit. Warships of the Seventh Fleet were under orders not to drop anchor or steam at slow speeds in darkness, to avoid possible torpedo attack. The first U.S. evacuation ship would probably arrive in port in Formosa the following day. Civilians had been given first priority in the evacuation, with women and children, along with men, some of whom were old and feeble, making their way onto the evacuation craft.

The President this date, in a special message to Congress, called for a seven billion dollar emergency school construction program over the ensuing three years, into which the Federal Government would contribute 1.1 billion dollars. It proposed that 750 million dollars in Federal funds would be used to purchase school bonds of local communities which could not sell them in the open market at reasonable interest rates, and, overall, for 900 million in Federal loans and 200 million in Federal grants. He also called for authorization of 20 million dollars for planning of sound long-term financing of the public schools, free from "obsolete restrictions" on construction, recommending an appropriation of five million dollars out of that total during the first year. He said that unless public education remained free in its response to local community needs and free from any suggestion of political domination, as well as free from impediments to the pursuit of knowledge by teachers and students, it would "cease to serve the purposes of free men." He said that at present there was a deficit of more than 300,000 classrooms, resulting, in part, from the war years and defense mobilization when construction had to be curtailed. He recommended the three-year emergency program as a means of easing that shortage.

In Dover, Del., the State Supreme Court held this date that the Milford Board of Education had "no legal right" to admit ten black students to the 10th grade classes of a previously all-white high school the prior September, indicating that the pupils had been admitted without prior approval of the Delaware State Board of Education and that the local board therefore had no legal authority to act. While taking cognizance of the Brown v. Board of Education decision of the prior May 17 and its having abrogated the Delaware State Constitutional provison requiring separate secondary schools for whites and blacks, the decision found that the question still remained as to the type of relief to be granted in the implementing decision in Brown, temporarily delayed until confirmation of Justice-designate John Harlan, appointed by the President the prior November in the wake of the death of Justice Robert Jackson in October. The Court thus determined that, since the cases subsumed under Brown, including the case out of Delaware, were class action cases and not cases involving individuals, as were the graduate and law school cases decided by the Supreme Court earlier between 1938 and 1950, Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337, involving the University of Missouri Law School, Sipuel v. Board of Regents, 332 U.S. 631, involving the University of Oklahoma graduate school, and Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629, involving the University of Texas Law School, in each case holding that since the state had failed to demonstrate the presence of substantially equal in-state segregated facilities for white and black applicants, the otherwise qualified black plaintiffs were ordered admitted to the previously segregated state schools, entitling the individual plaintiffs therein to immediate relief, the current case out of Delaware and its class of plaintiffs should await further determination by the Supreme Court in Brown as to the type of implementing remedy to which they were entitled, whether immediate or gradual through time. Thus, for the present, it limited its holding to state law, that the local board had acted without authority from the State Board, which had opted to await the implementing decision in Brown before beginning desegregation, holding that decision appropriate under the current inchoate status of Brown in terms of the method of implementation. The decision is a little murky in its reasoning, as the case immediately before the Court appeared to involve ten specific plaintiffs and was not a class action, but rests its denial of immediate relief on the fact that the cases pending in Brown were class actions, and, apparently, that because the plaintiffs in this case had relied on Brown for their claims of right to immediate admission to the school, they should await the implementing decision.

Julian Scheer of The News reports from Raleigh that a bill before the Legislature concerning sexual psychopaths, proposing stiffer sentencing and psychiatric treatment for those amenable to same, introduced by the Mecklenburg County delegation, had received cold treatment in a second hearing before the State House Judiciary Committee No. 1 during the morning, with three well-known State medical men pointing out that the bill was impractical given the present State facilities and treatment, and saying that it was similar to bills which had been repealed in other states. The doctors said that the State did not have facilities for treatment of sexual psychopaths, did not have the necessary trained personnel to deal with them, that the treatability of sexual psychopaths was not high, that a prison atmosphere might be better for them than the present mental hospital, and that no estimate was available at present regarding specific needs and types of facilities.

Donald MacDonald of The News tells of a 15-year old junior high school student in serious condition at Charlotte's Memorial Hospital this date, with a bullet lodged in his neck after he had been reportedly shot by his 14-year old half-nephew, the second accidental shooting involving junior high school students within the prior 12 days. The victim's half-nephew was being held by Youth Bureau officers on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, with the boy indicating to officers that both he and his half-uncle, only a year older, had been in the habit of carrying pistols while on their newspaper routes, that he did not know the gun was loaded when he accidentally wounded his half-uncle in the right jaw. He said that they carried guns on their routes because they had heard of newspaper carriers being robbed in their neighborhood. Initially, he and his half-uncle had given a false report to the police, indicating that the shooting had been done by an unidentified man seated in a telephone booth, changing the story during the morning to provide the true account. He said that while they were telephoning the Charlotte Observer offices to make a change in the number of papers to be delivered to their routes, he had been holding the gun in his hand in the telephone booth, playing with it, and it had gone off, firing through the glass side of the booth and striking his half-uncle at close range. Carrying newspapers can be dangerous in Charlotte.

On the editorial page, "Men Unwanted, by Army or Employers" tells of college and high school graduates presently asking when, rather than whether, they would be drafted into military service, with the answer not being as simple as it might seem. The natural assumption was that prospective draftees would be inducted as soon as they finished their education, whether at the college level or after high school, but such was not the case. "The armed forces of the U.S. are toying with the lives of the young citizenry like a small boy playing with tin soldiers."

If one were classified 1-A, the top draft classification at the time, and had just graduated from college, one might be tempted to say that because the draft quotas were being filled with volunteers, there was little chance of being drafted and so might seek to enter the business world, only to find that employers were reluctant to hire young people just out of school because of the prospect of being drafted at any time. At that point, the young graduate might be tempted to ask the Army to draft him immediately and get it over with, calling the local draft board, only to find out that they would have to wait three or four months because of a waiting list of volunteers for the draft. The only option left would be to enlist for three or four years, instead of the usual two when subjected to the draft—the longer period of service for volunteers being because of the choice of service, whereas draftees were usually consigned to Army infantry status, typically the first to be called up in the case of a hot war. The question then would arise as to what the young graduate would do during the interim period, waiting to be called up for the draft.

It indicates that the problem was one being faced by hundreds of eligible draftees every day, a situation for which the draft boards could not be blamed as they were able to fill their quotas with volunteers and then, once the quotas were filled, had a waiting list of volunteer draftees. The stability in the armed forces was being achieved at the expense of stability in the civilian manpower force, with thousands of bright young men simply marking time, contributing neither to the military nor the civilian field, nor to their own futures.

It suggests that the quota system ought be modified to permit prospective draftees at least several months of notice of induction, so that they and prospective employers could plan accordingly.

"Federal-State Tax Conformity Needed" indicates that repairs in the state's tax machinery proposed the previous night by a State Representative in Raleigh had been reasonable and necessary, bringing sections of the state's revenue laws into conformity with the Federal system concerning depreciation, as the Federal law had changed considerably in 1954, such that some companies found themselves faced with the necessity of keeping two sets of books to compute depreciation. In some instances, concessions granted for depreciation by the Federal Government were not allowed by the state. Thus, it recommends the changes to promote uniformity.

"Death Comes to an Old Warrior" comments on the death at age 82 of former State Senator, Congressman and Federal District Court Judge E. Yates Webb of Shelby, who had battled for prohibition most of his career. He had gone on inactive status as a judge in 1947, at that point predicting that the country would again demand prohibition within 20 years. It suggests that his cause had lost a great champion, that while the newspaper had often differed with him, instead preferring orderly control of liquor sales through the ABC system, it admired him for his sincerity, strength of conviction and devotion to an ideal. It concludes that he had rendered his state and nation many services and that the void he left behind in the state was great.

A piece from the Dayton Daily News, titled "Trash That Tells All", tells of a Detroit trash collector saying that he got to know his customers on the route as well as the milkman did, leading the piece to speculate as to the type of information he was able to accumulate, whether it was the source of petty gossip, the basis for a blackmail scheme or for becoming an informer on security risks. It concludes that the garbage collector had an interesting career and expresses wonder that more colleges did not have courses for training in garbage collection.

It advises burning the mess in the living room wastebasket, perhaps making a candlestick out of the old sherry bottle, and investing in a garbage disposal unit.

Drew Pearson indicates that former Vice-President Alben Barkley had no trouble remembering that he was now only a freshman Senator again, but that his secretary sometimes forgot and answered the phone by saying, "The Vice-President's office." When she had made the mistake recently, the voice at the other end asked her to repeat it, which she then did, but then finally excused herself, saying she had meant Senator Barkley's office. At that point the voice at the other end sounded relieved, saying it was Adlai Stevenson calling, Mr. Pearson noting that the last person the latter would wish to get on the phone was Vice-President Nixon, who had bitterly attacked Mr. Stevenson during the midterm elections campaign the prior fall.

Mr. Pearson indicates that he had conducted several talks with Harvey Matusow, the former Communist who had turned informer and professional witness for Congress, but who had now recanted many of his statements in a soon to be published book, False Witness, and, in those talks, had determined, as printed in the column on November 8, 1954, that Mr. Matusow had the desire to tell the truth, making statements about his time working for Senator McCarthy, with those statements relating to an investigation the Senator had launched against press organs which had been critical of him, Mr. Matusow telling Mr. Pearson that the Senator had asked him to investigate the New York Times, the Herald Tribune and Time Magazine because they had been attacking the Senator and he wanted to obtain revenge, desiring to make them appear Communist. Mr. Matusow said that he was then able to obtain records from the Communist Party and the Communist faction of the American Newspaper Guild dating back to the 1930's and early 1940's, and that although the material was completely hearsay, the Senator was willing to use it.

The Joint Congressional Atomic Energy Committee was concerned that the authorization of private companies to develop atomic power would enable them to provide lucrative salaries to atomic experts within the Government, luring them into the private sector. Atomic Energy Commission chairman Admiral Lewis Strauss had been boasting that he had been able to get former chairman Gordon Dean his lucrative job with Lehman brothers, Mr. Pearson pointing out that the job had originated strictly with Lehman.

Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn took a five-block constitutional around the Capitol Plaza every day after adjournment of the House, frequently accompanied by Congressman Wright Patman of Texas, the Speaker saying that people who worked indoors should get out as often as possible for some fresh air. Query whether the choice of five blocks for the walk was by design to remind Senator McCarthy and his cohorts of the continued viability of the Fifth Amendment. Regardless, he should have joined them and he might have lived to the ripe old ages which Messrs. Rayburn and Patman did.

Congressman James Richards of South Carolina, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, had received a note from an admirer from South Carolina who had complimented him on his good showing "for a country boy" in his appearance recently on a television quiz show, the constituent noting, however, that he had seen him do better with a "chaw of tobacco in your jaw", to which Congressman Richards replied, "No spittoons in the studio."

Former Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa had hinted that he would like to return to the Senate as chief counsel for the committee investigating the loyalty security program.

Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, the President's closest friend in the Senate, had been telling friends that the President definitely would run in 1956, but First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, suggests Mr. Pearson, disagreed.

The U.S. Army Engineers were secretly mapping Canada's coasts and collecting detailed geographical information, in case it ever became necessary for the U.S. to help defend Canada, indicative of the close partnership between the two countries, which had not existed a few years earlier.

Joseph Alsop, in Taipeh, indicates that the current build-up and deployment of Chinese Communist military power ought give pause to those who were regarding the Formosa crisis as merely a passing flurry. Since the Korean truce, important ground and air forces had been transferred southward to the coastal provinces which were the natural staging points for an attack on Formosa and/or the offshore islands. The modernization of Communist China's land army had proceeded rapidly in the meantime, such that it was presently almost as well-equipped as the Soviet infantry.

Authoritative intelligence sources credited Communist China with a strength of regular ground forces numbering more than 3.1 million, organized into 210 infantry divisions, 22 artillery divisions, six armored divisions, plus considerable independent tank and artillery regiments, engineer regiments and cavalry outfits. At the end of the fighting in Korea in July, 1953, the Chinese had 17 of their armies deployed to the Korean front, seven of which had now been transferred back into China. Three of the armies from Korea had been sent to Chekiang and Kiangsu provinces, where the force threatening the Tachen Islands was massed. A fourth Army from Korea was in a first reserve position at Nanking and three more armies from Korea were in northern China, close to the north-south railroads which could carry them rapidly to the Yangtze Valley, the latter therefore to be regarded as a secondary reserve.

The force deployed to the Chekiang and Kiangsu provinces, comprised of four armies, were immediately threatening the Tachens, while further south, in Fukien Province, immediately across from the outpost islands of Quemoy and Matsu, there was a second large mass of troops comprised of three armies. None of those armies in Fukien Province, however, had come from Korea.

The air redeployment had followed the same pattern, with the main strength of the Chinese Communist Air Force of just under 2,000 combat planes having been stationed in Manchuria prior to the Korean Armistice, in support of the ground troops on the Korean front. Now, an additional 500 aircraft, including five air divisions of MIG-15 jets, had been transferred southward, such that the main strength of the Communist Chinese Air Force was concentrated in the Chekiang-Kiangsu area and in the lower Yangtze Valley, where airbase building had been intensive. There was also a secondary concentration of five additional air divisions located in the southerly region around Canton.

Mr. Alsop points out that there was one important difference between the air picture and the ground picture, that being the gap in Fukien Province, opposite Quemoy and Matsu, where there were no air units presently stationed and only one airfield able to accommodate jet operations. Because of the distances involved versus the short-range of the MIG-15, the Communists would find it difficult at present to use their most important plane in large numbers to support assaults on Quemoy and Matsu.

Thus, he concludes, there had been methodical preparation which was not yet complete, with the disposition of enemy troops pointing toward an attack on the Tachens, unless those islands were given to the Communists, per the present American plan of evacuation. The slow movement of all forces southward pointed to an eventual attack on Quemoy and Matsu, and probably on Formosa, itself. But the timing of the latter operations was doubtful because of the air gap in Fukien Province. Notwithstanding that gap, Chinese and American experts in Taipeh had attributed to the Communists the capability of attacking either or both of the latter outpost islands at any time. The Chinese had a sea lift capacity sufficient to move 50,000 men for the purpose, stationed close to Matsu, suggesting that the latter was the next on the list for invasion.

The President was obviously hoping that evacuation of the Tachens, in addition to providing firmness regarding potential defense of the other islands, would eventually enable him to make a deal with the Communist Chinese, whereunder Quemoy and Matsu would be traded for a promise of toleration of the Nationalists on Formosa. Mr. Alsop indicates that it probably appeared logical in Washington, but that the consensus in Taipeh, even among the few who favored such a deal, was that the President would not get what he wanted from mere hints that he might fight for Quemoy and Matsu, that he would have to prove such willingness by actually fighting for the outpost islands when the time came.

Marquis Childs indicates that the close relationship between Nationalist China and the U.S., which had been one of the most troubling factors in formulating U.S. foreign policy, was being formalized in a mutual defense treaty, but that virtually no interest had been demonstrated in having hearings on that treaty, by either its proponents or opponents. Many Senators believed that since Congress had overwhelmingly approved the resolution on Formosa, the treaty with Nationalist China was a mere formality. The resolution committed the U.S. to defend Formosa and the Pescadores, and "other related territories" should their defense be made necessary to protect Formosa. But the treaty represented a mutual commitment, an important distinction for the Nationalist Chinese, whereas the resolution passed by Congress was a unilateral statement of policy which could be altered at any time.

Doubts over formalizing the treaty would persist, because the phrase "other related territories" in the resolution was taken to mean Quemoy and Matsu, while the treaty was solely restricted to Formosa and the Pescadores.

During the debate on the resolution, the discrepancy between the resolution and the treaty was pointed out by Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, one of the leading conservative Democrats in the Senate, a supporter of the President, who had declared his intention of voting for the resolution while, nevertheless, challenging the treaty commitment, questioning whether the U.S. could underwrite the conduct and operation of Nationalist Chinese garrisons in their day-to-day, hour-to-hour contacts with a militarily aggressive enemy, despite those garrison positions being exposed, which Senator Byrd believed opened the door for a shooting war on the mainland of China "with all of its disastrous consequences". Senator Byrd had favored an amendment to the resolution striking the phrase "other related territories", eliminating the possibility, therefore, of responsibility for the outpost islands.

Regarding the treaty, Senator Byrd had said that Chiang Kai-shek was well aware that he could never set foot on mainland China again without U.S. planes, troops and ships in support of the effort, and that Chiang was motivated by self-interest such that when the critical time would come, he might place his ambitions above the welfare of the U.S.

Mr. Childs indicates that U.S. policy toward China was going through a phase in which hopes and fears were based not so much on treaties and resolutions as on the actual course of events in the area of Formosa, and, as so often occurred in the past, "one man's hopes are another man's fears."

A letter from the corresponding secretary of the Junior Woman's Club expresses appreciation to the newspaper for its cooperation in its recent Welfare Clothing Drive, helping to make it a success.

A letter from the president of the Charlotte Jaycees thanks the newspaper for its coverage of Jaycees Week and the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award, thanks particularly reporters Tom Fesperman and Harry Shuford, and city editor Waldo Profitt for their efforts.

A letter writer from Monroe comments on the newspaper's editorial regarding Harvey Matusow, finding its concluding sentence to have been unjustified in light of Representative Kit Clardy's letter published in the newspaper on July 31, 1954, but that the editorial had served the purpose of bringing to the public's attention the difficulty faced by Congressional committees in their attempts to ferret out truth in matters concerning national security. He also thinks it served as a reminder that Dr. Robert Oppenheimer's testimony before HUAC in 1949, according to the Atomic Energy Commission report released the prior June, had been at variance with a letter he had sent to the Rochester Times-Union, after it had printed a summary of his HUAC testimony. He also suggests that Drew Pearson, Marquis Childs and the Alsop brothers, "by the use of calculated distortion, innuendo and falsification have polluted the waters of truth with which Americans have sought to sustain themselves in this period of Communistic crisis", and thereby abused freedom of the press. He also suggests that James Marlow and the editors of The News, to a lesser extent, had, "by unwarranted insinuation and elimination of essential facts, also erred in the presentation of the truth of our day."

You must have attended Senator Goldwater's talk on Saturday night before the YR. Maybe you had a chat there with a young fellow Republican from Kentucky, Ron Ziegler?

A letter writer comments on a recent editorial regarding the state's workmen's compensation laws and their low payments, indicating he was glad to see that something was being done about it. He says that he had been injured on the job in early 1953 through no fault of his own, and the commissioner had allowed a total disability of $8,000, payable at $30 per week, despite the fact that at the time of his injury, he had been earning $110 per week. He had stayed in the hospital for two months and one lobe of his lung had been removed and his back was injured permanently. His lawyer had been allowed $300 out of the $8,000 he had been awarded, and he was paid only $20 per week until that $300 fee was paid. The insurance company paid for his surgery and the treatment for his back, as well as for doctor bills for a month after he was released from the hospital. Since then, he had been forced to return to the hospital, for which the insurance company refused to pay the bill. He had tried to work but was unable to do so and had sought to settle the outstanding hospital and doctor bills with one lump-sum payment for a six percent cut of his workmen's compensation payment, but they had wanted to take a larger cut.

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