The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 1, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from London that Prime Minister Churchill, speaking in Commons regarding Britain's defense plans, said this date that the U.S. had an overwhelming lead over the Soviets in the "knowledge and the power to make nuclear weapons." He stated that only three countries possessed the knowledge and power to make nuclear weapons, and of those, the U.S. was overwhelmingly in the lead. He said that Britain had begun to develop its hydrogen bomb, against which generally there was no defense, or any method at present by which any nation could be "completely guaranteed against devastating injury, which even a score of them might inflict in wide regions."

From Las Vegas, it was reported that the third shot of the 1955 series of nuclear tests had lit up the predawn sky for a moment this date at 5:30 a.m., with observers in Las Vegas indicating that it was the largest flash thus far of the three. It was plainly visible in Los Angeles, 250 miles to the southwest. A group of newsmen would join Air Force personnel for the first time in tracking the nuclear fallout aboard a B-25, which had taken off 15 minutes after the detonation. They had been scheduled to follow the fallout for a minimum of 2.5 hours, with extra radiation monitoring equipment having been loaded onto the plane for the benefit of the press observers.

In Charlotte, it was reported that a projected Nike guided missile plant in the area of the city might be larger than originally announced. The Nike would be assembled by Douglas Aircraft Co., which held a subcontract from Western Electric, with the missile to be built in the former Charlotte Quartermaster Depot, presently being converted for missile manufacturer.

In Pahoa, Hawaii, a volcanic eruption occurred this date and civil defense officials declared a state of emergency, with one small village having been virtually abandoned. An estimated 100 acres of sugar cane fields and timber had been set ablaze by the molten lava. More than 400 persons had fled their homes in the path of the lava flow. No casualties had been reported and no home was reported to have fallen into the lava flow. Early this date, the main lava flow had traveled about 2.5 miles and was still about 4.5 miles from the ocean. Police said that it was amazing that no one had been injured, as about 20,000 persons had clogged the highways to observe the eruptions. It was the first eruption from Puulena crater in more than 50 years.

In Raleigh, the State House Agriculture Committee this date gave its approval to milk price-fixing legislation, after it had amended the bill to provide the consumer more representation on the State Milk Commission.

In Charlotte, a proposed $250,000 bond to pay for planning of an addition to Memorial Hospital for black patients was taken off the May 3 ballot because no legal authority existed for the issuance of the bonds, according to Charlotte's New York bond attorneys, who said that there was no way to determine the life of the improvements for which the bonds were to be issued, as required by state law, since they would only be issued for the planning of a project which might never come to fruition, thus rendering the bonds valueless.

Also in Charlotte, a protective zoning ordinance would be the first step, according to the City-County Planning Commission director, to help enforce the city's perimeter zoning and subdivision control bill, which had gone into effect the previous night.

Also in Charlotte, outdated sections of the City Code referring to Charlotte speed limits might be brought up to date to comply with State law, according to a member of the City Council this date.

In Denver, a man was granted a divorce from his wife after testifying that every time he put his arm around her, a man living with them would sic the family dog on him. He said that he and his wife had taken the man into their home ten years earlier and had also sheltered another man during the previous two years because they felt sorry for the pair. He said that his wife painted pictures and the two men sold them for her. They had been married for 31 years.

On the editorial page, "Textiles and Tariff: New Approach to the Revolution in World Trade" indicates that the Administration's new reciprocal trade bill was a genuine, full-blown threat to the South's multimillion dollar textile industry and to the economic security, therefore, of many Southerners working in that industry. The effect would be felt in Mecklenburg County if any significant part of the textile industry should be sacrificed to foreign competition.

The measure would extend the 20-year reciprocal trade law three years and provide the President additional powers to reduce tariffs by five percent per year during that time. It finds it dangerous in its present form and urges that it should be adjusted to the realities of the age.

Historically, the newspaper had favored more trade and freer trade, and indicates it had not changed that position, but also posits that one country could not, by itself, bring about a revolution in trade.

Other nations were erecting high barriers to free trade, while giving lip service to liberal trade policy. Meanwhile, import quotas, currency control, import licenses and other protectionist devices were being put into effect. Moreover, the quickening pace of technological and scientific developments were undercutting advantages of international specialization, making the world more fiercely competitive, for which adequate adjustment mechanisms had not yet been developed.

Textiles were produced all over the world with utilizing about the same techniques and equipment and with about the same efficiency. But wages were much lower than those of the U.S. in certain foreign countries, for instance, 13.6 cents per hour on average in Japan, while the average U.S. textile worker earned about $1.30 per hour. In textiles, labor costs made up about 49 percent of the value added by manufacture, thus giving the foreign countries with much lower wages an advantage. There was also a disparity in the cost of cotton, equipment and transportation. Japan was one of the world's principal manufacturers of textiles, and U.S. foreign aid had helped put the industry on its feet after World War II. It was now flooding the U.S. market with cotton goods, having exported 85,300 dozen woven cotton shirts into the U.S. just in the previous December, with the price considerably below that of U.S.-manufactured shirts. The competition had already injured U.S. producers. In the third quarter of 1954, profits on sales after taxes had amounted to only .56 of a percent, the lowest level since 1938, and the previous year, the U.S. had lost 600,000 spindles, while Japan was continually adding more.

The South, and particularly the immediate area around Charlotte, was based on a cotton economy, not a particularly healthy situation, but a fact. A sudden jolt to the textile industry would dramatically affect the region's entire economy. Industry was slowly being established across the South, but King Cotton was not yet ready to be relegated to the past. There were human factors involved, with a large number of livelihoods wrapped up in the prosperity of thousands of individual mills and supporting institutions and businesses.

It indicates, however, that it did not mean that a liberal trade policy should be junked, but rather that before the U.S. liberalized its trade further, it should take stock of what the total world situation was and act accordingly. It suggests that it might take a 2 to 3-year trade truce to provide a breathing spell for competitive relations, and the U.S. would have to develop an understanding with its world neighbors about mutual responsibilities in international trade. It would probably also mean some additional investments abroad to open up new markets for both the U.S. and its rivals, such as Japan.

It concludes that the U.S. concern had to be to maintain a high level of production and employment in a solvent and expanding economy, and that it would have to work aggressively to strengthen the free world through the expansion of world trade. It finds that both of the responsibilities could be discharged, provided Americans had the patience, wisdom and common sense to do the job.

"The Curtain Is Just Going Up" tells of Edgar Faure having finally been able to form a new French Government after 19 days of no government, following the resignation of former Premier Pierre Mendes-France, in the wake of a no-confidence vote.

In Bonn, West Germany, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer had finally won approval in the Bundestag for the West German rearmament treaties, following 42 hours of grueling debate.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama's Democrats had won the Japanese elections, after seven years of Liberal Party domination in the House.

It indicates, however, that there were difficult times ahead in each country for those leaders. M. Faure's new Government faced several major problems, wages, taxes, farm subsidies, German rearmament and unrest in the North African colonies. There was also a regrouping within the French political parties and M. Mendes-France was a formidable opposition leader ready to make a comeback.

The German rearmament question was not settled by the vote of the Bundestag. Socialists and Free Democrats were determined to mobilize popular resistance to the rearmament pacts, even after formal ratification. Pacifism was widespread in West Germany, as was suspicion of the West. Moreover, Chancellor Adenauer was 79 years old with declining strength and there was no other strong leader on the scene to take his place.

In Japan, the new leadership was acceptable to the West, but promised to bring about problems later, as Prime Minister Hatoyama had called for trade and friendship with the Communist nations, as well as with the U.S.

It concludes that the world was indeed a stage and that the real drama was just beginning.

"Trio for Two Crickets & A Fiddle" provides a poetic transition between February and March, having heard crickets chirping "inquiringly", finding in it an interlude of nature in between the seasons.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Richard Neuberger of Oregon having inquired about an incident involving a recently nominated Oregon state judge to become a Federal District Court Judge, following his involvement in a drunk driving stop. He and two other state judges had been attending a judicial conference when they were pulled over by a patrolman after being reported by a car salesman for brushing the side of his car. He did not know that the car contained three judges. By the time they were pulled over, the Federal District Court nominee, who was originally driving, had switched to the passenger seat, and one of the other judges had taken the wheel, while the third judge lay in the back seat asleep. The patrolman did not arrest the driving judge for drunk driving, stating in his report that on the basis of his tests, he could not conscientiously do so. He did, however, not permit the three judges to continue driving, made them park the car on the side of the road and drove them back to the police station, himself. All three judges had been "abusive as hell", according to one police officer, and the police chief had stated that they appeared to resent being brought to a small police station.

Senator Neuberger had already approved the appointment of Judge William East to the U.S. District Court, but now wanted a full FBI report on the driving incident.

The statement by Senator McCarthy in February, 1950 that there were 81 alleged "card-carrying Communists" on the payroll of the State Department had not only never been borne out by evidence, but there was not a single Communist found to be in the State Department. Former Secretary of State James Byrnes had appointed 57 of 73 of the employees on the Senator's list, with one having been duplicated and seven never having worked for the Department at all. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, the target of the Senator's claims, had appointed only four of those on the list, including a reappointment of Philip Jessup, who had originally been hired by former Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes in 1924, during the Coolidge Administration. Another 32 were former employees who were not working for the Department at the time of the claims of the Senator. That left 41 who had actually been in the Department at the time, none of whom were ever shown to be Communists.

Everett Houser, Cleveland County Juvenile Court Judge, writing in the Shelby Daily Star, indicates that in his 16 years on the bench dealing with delinquent children accused of crimes, he had come to believe that the children of the county were good and decent, that there was far less juvenile crime than adult crime, and that while there were some serious crimes committed by juveniles, the problem lay in their adult supervision and not in the children, themselves.

He finds the national attention devoted to juvenile crime to be an overstatement and says that juvenile courts and training schools were not the answers to the problem.

He indicates that juveniles were supposed to make noise, kick up their heels and annoy their elders, that a hint might be taken from the normal attitude of the playful colts toward the adult horses.

He finds that part of the problem was boredom, that there were not enough activities for the young people, every adult's responsibility.

The 15 and 16-year olds had given a pretty good account of themselves during World War II and later during the Korean War, and most of their girlfriends were fine and splendid young women as well. The men had served for $50 per month while the older men stayed home and made money off the war profits. That had made an impression on the young people and impacted their attitude toward the adult population.

He suggests that if the adult population of the county, state and nation got its thinking straight, its ethics on a decent plane and its mass action more on the basis of the Sermon on the Mount, juvenile delinquency would pretty much take care of itself. Adults had a tendency to forget the idealism of youth and that to the mass of young people, adult hypocrisy was unforgivable. Thus, it was no wonder that some young people reacted violently to adult hypocrisy, and he was surprised that youths had not exploded more violently than they had.

He concludes that unless the trend in adult thinking and action in the country improved, he believed there would be real trouble, not the fault of the young people, but the responsibility of the adults. He says that he would take the kids any day and thanks God for them.

Charles Poore, writing in the New York Times, indicates that whenever a novelist wanted to quote a couple of lines from a popular song to set a mood in a scene, the publisher was concerned about copyright violations, and so had to add an annoying, mood-shattering acknowledgment that the lines were composed by a particular artist and published by a particular music company. Thus, usually, the novelist simply dispensed with the matter.

Recently, a publisher had issued a volume devoted to the verses of Cole Porter, edited by Fred Lounsberry, titled 103 Lyrics of Cole Porter. He finds it a wonderful book, full of the lyrics of wonderful songs, but issues the caveat that there was a question as to whether it could be freely quoted by characters in novels without running afoul of the copyright laws.

A letter writer indicates that it was not necessarily pernicious for the City Council to have met in secret at a member's home recently, but it did suggest bad judgment and poor taste. He urges the Council not to raise city property taxes, with people already struggling to make ends meet with the higher cost of living.

A letter writer wonders why Vice-President Nixon was traveling abroad at taxpayer expense, when he was elected to preside over the Senate.

The editors respond: "You have us there."

And, they might have added, their hearts and minds would follow...

A letter writer responds to a letter on health insurance from Dr. W. D. James, vice-chairman of the State Senate Committee on Insurance, indicating that the answer to the problem of people being wronged by health insurance companies did not lie completely with out-of-state companies "taking millions of dollars out of the state and then denying claims due to pre-existing conditions", as indicated by Dr. James. This writer contends that it was occasionally the fault of the applicant for the policy, not undertaking the duty to be truthful regarding statements made in the application. He agrees that companies were being formed in other states for the sole purpose of fleecing the general public whenever they could through advertising generous benefits at low costs, while never licensing their companies in the other states, waiting to entice a gullible person who would respond to the ad without ever checking with the Insurance Commission in Raleigh to determine the bona fides of the company. He believes that advertising media who advertised the insurance companies should educate the public regarding insurance policies, practices and claims. He advises prospective insureds to ensure that they were dealing with licensed North Carolina agents and that they answer application questions truthfully.

A letter writer indicates that it was interesting to note in the newspaper that the Chamber of Commerce had formed a Contact Club, with the purpose of greeting new business executives coming to the city and making them feel at home. He believed it to be a major drawback, however, that most of the members were insurance salesmen who had persistent methods. He thinks it ought to be called "The-Chamber-of-Commerce-Society-for-Ensnaring-Unsuspecting-Insurance Prospects-Before-Other-Insurance-Salesmen Get-to-Them Club". He thinks it was no way to welcome business executives new to the city.

A letter from the Agriculture Commissioner of Georgia, Phil Campbell, states his appreciation for the editorial of February 16, concerning the new non-political content of the Georgia Farmers Market Bulletin.

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