The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 23, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President, at his press conference this date, said that once the Paris agreements for rearming West Germany were ratified, it might be time for exploratory talks looking toward a meeting of the major power heads of state. He said that he would make a lot of concessions to obtain exploratory talks at a lower level, but added that it was different when considering a meeting of the heads of state. He wanted assurances from the Russians that they meant business before holding such a meeting, because they had violated their promises so often and left the West hanging on a limb, that it made him wary. He said there was no great difference between his viewpoint and that of Senator Walter George of Georgia, who had proposed that the President initiate a big four power conference as soon as the Paris agreements were ratified. The press conference had clarified the Administration's stand, which had produced confusion the previous day with respect to whether it agreed or disagreed with Senator George's call for a meeting of the heads of state.

The President also commented on the publication of the record of the February, 1945 Yalta conference, which had been put forth the previous week, saying that there was nothing to be gained by going back a decade to try to show whether someone may have been wrong, and that he never personally questioned any man's motives. When asked whether he believed publication of the report by the State Department might cramp the style of leaders of the nations in any future such conferences, he replied that he hoped it would not. The President also stated that he knew of no particular new effort, either by the U.S. directly or through the British, to negotiate a cease-fire in the area of Formosa. He also stated that he considered his program to encourage foreign trade by easing tariffs to be one of the most critical issues before the American people at present.

In an exchange with Joseph C. Harsch of the Christian Science Monitor, the President sought to clarify his position on the use of atomic weaponry in the event of a war, as set forth the previous week, distinguishing an actual war from a police action where the object was to restore order, obviously not calling for the use of atomic weapons, and refusing to comment in advance on whether he would use atomic weapons in defense of Quemoy and Matsu, the Nationalist-held offshore islands, in the event of an attack on them by the Communist Chinese which imperiled Formosa and the Pescadores.

In Washington, Bernard Baruch, 84, told the Senate Banking Committee this date that the main causes of the stock price boom were a vast expansion of industry and "the cumulative effects of the inflationary policies which had been followed over the past decade and a half." He indicated that if any economic danger threatened, it would not occur in the stock market but rather in the effects of that inflationary heritage. He opposed any tax cuts at present and urged a bigger defense build-up. He said that if the general economic and security policies were sound, the stock market would adjust to them and they would not need to worry about its possible collapse, that if the country did not pursue its national security and national credit, then nothing would have lasting value. He was the final witness in three weeks of public hearings on the state of the stock market.

Violent early spring weather, most of which was wintry, had hit large areas of the eastern half of the nation the previous day, causing at least 28 deaths and property damage in the millions. Blizzards, rain, sleet and strong winds had hit large sections of the Eastern Seaboard, tearing down buildings, and floods had hit some parts of the South. The coldest temperature in the nation was -3 degrees at Cut Bank, Montana. The weather had obviously been drinking, not realizing the season had changed.

Emery Wister of The News reports that automobile and truck tires were being converted to smudge pots this date as Sandhills peach growers were preparing to fight the threat of frost, the tires producing thick smoke which the growers said protected the peaches from the frost, predicted by the Weather Bureau for this night. The previous night's frost had done little damage in the area, but had impacted peaches to a degree in the Spartanburg area, and had almost killed more tender plants and shrubs in the Piedmont. A horticulturist for the Spartanburg Peach Growers Association said that the previous night's frost would mean about a ten percent reduction in the crop in that county, one of the largest peach producing areas of the nation, having the previous year produced 3,000 railroad carloads of peaches, compared to 4,250 for the entire state of Georgia, self-dubbed the "peach state".

For decades, Tobacco Road in the Piedmont, between Winston-Salem and Durham, inclusive of Chapel Hill and Raleigh, has produced more peaches than any other comparable stretch of 100 miles of road in the nation. Everbody knows that, as evidenced by the coming Saturday night here in 2022, when, historically, the two best peach-basket pickers, perennial rivals at peach-picking, their orchards being located only 12 miles apart and so consistently in competition for the best peach-picking team nationally, will square off for the first time in the 84-year history of the national peach-picking contest, in the national semifinals thereof in New Orleans at 8:49 EDT. Whether either side or both can manage to pick 3,000 carloads, or even a tenth that many, in the space of a couple of hours is highly dubious, but the excitement likely will sustain more than casual interest.

Harry Shuford of The News tells of irate businessmen complaining of the old rock quarry in Charlotte, which had resulted in a $13,500 civil claim from an adjoining property owner, claiming back rent on the land, based on allegations that the City had been dumping rubbish on the property. High winds the previous day had whipped the piles of trash and wastepaper accumulated in the abandoned quarry, scattering it all over the neighborhood. Reports indicated that such occurred every time the wind rose in strength. City Manager Henry Yancey said this date that it was the duty of the City to keep the streets clear, but that since the City did not own the quarry property, it could not prevent dumping of the trash and paper which caused the problem. A City Council study of the quarry had begun the previous summer, resulting in efforts to obtain ownership of the property and fill it in. The City Attorney had indicated this date, however, that the efforts had thus far been unsuccessful.

Senator Richard Neuberger of Oregon told the Senate the previous day that he was counting on support from wildlife lovers all over the country for his campaign to save the squirrels on the White House grounds. As fellow Democrats laughed, the solemn Senator said: "Presidents might come and Presidents might go, but the White House squirrels presumably could go on forever. That is, until they began scratching Dwight D. Eisenhower's favorite putting green." He read news reports which indicated that the squirrels had been caught in box-traps and carted many miles away from the White House because they had been scratching at the putting green. The Senator said that under that program of banishment, "many squirrel families are being torn apart—mothers and fathers separated from their offspring." He offered $25 from his own pocket to start a "save the White House squirrels fund", proposing that it be used to erect a fence to protect the putting green of the President from the "ravages or depredations by marauding squirrels," on condition that the banishment end.

On the editorial page, "Redistricting: The Face Is Familiar" tells of there having been a brave attempt on the part of State Senators F. J. Blythe of Mecklenburg County and O. Arthur Kirkman of Guilford County to get the General Assembly finally to undertake its duty under the State Constitution to redistrict the State Senate districts, required every ten years in accordance with the decennial census. But neither the 1951 nor the 1953 biennial Assemblies had acted on the matter, and the 1955 Assembly was also now skirting its responsibility.

The reason was that the State Senate commission appointed to study the matter was packed with legislators from rural counties, with only one, from Durham, coming from a populous area. During the week, the commission had shrugged off its responsibility by recommending that another study commission be appointed to report to the 1957 Assembly and that no redistricting should occur in the meantime. The Durham Senator had filed the only dissent, urging that redistricting be considered presently.

It finds the matter embarrassing for members of the Assembly to avoid their responsibilities under the State Constitution. It indicates that they were not evil men but were guarding jealously the power and authority for the areas which had been left behind in the state's march toward progress and bigness. Some of those men were blinded by pride and prejudice in an effort to cling to power granted them under an older regime, while actually depriving others of their legal rights. It finds that the wrong would not be corrected until a sense of shame, embarrassment and duty filtered down to the grassroots levels, a process which could take years.

It concludes that there was no hope at present for redistricting before 1961, after the 1960 census, and maybe not even then.

"The Moving Finger Points" tells of residents of a small village near Stuttgart, Germany, having the previous year erected a statue to gossipers and placed it in a prominent location, with the two characters of the statuary shown whispering roguishly into each other's ears.

It indicates that if the town ever tired of the sculpture, they might consider donating it to the U.S. Women's Army Corps, which had been the subject of great idle gossip among women, with most of the gossip being nonsense, though the nonsense had persisted and continued to harm the reputation of a fine organization. All of that had been set forth in the recently published 800-page WAC section of the official history of World War II, issued by the Government. The account on the WAC had been written by Mattie Treadwell, a WAC staff officer during the war, noting that what had started as strictly gossip had eventually become a campaign to accuse WAC's of wholesale immorality.

One such rumor had begun when German propagandists had broadcast that 20 WAC's had been returned home from North Africa because they had become pregnant, and the story had been picked up and repeated until the number supposedly sent home had reached 250,000, while at peak strength in April, 1945, WAC's numbered fewer than 100,000.

It finds that gossip was bad enough in any form and was at its worst when directed to a whole system or organization, when only a tiny percentage of the organization was guilty of anything of consequence. In the case of the WAC, attempts had been made to discredit the entire organization because of the indiscretions of a few members, and it had not been fair to a large group of high-minded, patriotic young women who had served the country well at a time when the need for their service had been great.

"A Case of Linguistic Appeasement" indicates that in Williamsburg, Va., American Legionnaires were getting uncomfortable about calling one another comrades, wanting to abandon the term for its identification with Communism.

It finds it getting close to appeasement, a thing which Senator William Knowland had defined in his speech in Charlotte recently as "surrender on the installment plan". It asserts that there was no need to give up parts of the language without a struggle, just because the Commies also liked to use it. If that were done, new words would have to be found for "democracy", "peace" and "freedom". It informs that "comrade" was a respectable American term, with its etymology traced back to Latin, in the English language for years. Walt Whitman, for instance, had stated: "I will write the evangel-poem of comrades and of love."

It concludes that banning the word "comrade" would, "comrades", be guilt by association.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Just a Milliday of Your Time", indicates that movie producer Samuel Goldwyn had remarked when he had first seen a sundial, "What will they think of next!" In Chicago, an attorney wanted to replace the system of 60 seconds for each minute and 60 minutes for each hour with a metric time system based on tens and hundreds, to keep pace with the atomic age.

The metric system used in Europe, the Middle East and other foreign areas was already confusing to American tourists when they encountered it abroad, and it finds that proposing to have 100 seconds equal to a minute, or a "milliday", would be even more confusing.

It finds that the whole of literature would have to be rewritten. Lord Chesterton, for example, would have to say: "I recommend you to take care of the millidays, for decidays will take care of themselves." It wonders who wanted to keep pace metrically with the atomic age, as it wants to get as many decidays away from it as space would allow.

Drew Pearson tells of the fallout from the release by the State Department the prior week of the report on the February, 1945 Yalta conference, telling of the French Senate voting on ratification this date of the West German arms agreement, which Secretary of State Dulles had, for two years, made the cornerstone of European policy. He had made four trips to Europe for the purpose of alternately threatening and cajoling the French, to try to obtain ratification. But just six days prior to the beginning of the French Senate debate, he released a document quoting Prime Minister Churchill as saying: "No solution has been found for controlling the French while they are controlling the Germans. If the French wish to be tiresome they could produce trouble in their zone which would cause trouble in the other zones. If we decide to be strict they could be lenient. If we decide to be lenient they could be strict." That had nonplussed French diplomats working for ratification and caused fury within the French press. Prior to the release by the State Department of the report on Yalta, stenographers had hastily crossed out certain passages with pencils, but French journalists could see through the penciled matter, including the quote from Mr. Churchill: "I do feel that if the French are given this little sop it will keep them quiet, for I feel strongly that they should not be at this table. This is an exclusive group (smiling) and the entrance subscription is at least five million soldiers." That quote had become headline news in Paris.

The British were flabbergasted that Secretary Dulles had leaked the report to the New York Times, a technique calculated to satisfy right-wing Republicans and allow Mr. Dulles to tell the British that he was against the publication by claiming that because it had been leaked, it had to be published. One British diplomat had said that if such had occurred in England, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden would face questions in Commons the following morning and might have to resign.

The report showed that President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill had been full of wisecracks during the Yalta conference, notwithstanding the ongoing war. Mr. Pearson provides a few, such as Mr. Churchill stating: "We are pursuing the Atlantic Charter. I sent a copy of this interpretation to Wendell Willkie." To that, President Roosevelt had responded: "Is that what killed him?"

The President "recalled there had been an organization called the Ku Klux Klan that had hated the Catholics and Jews, and when he had been on a visit to a small town in the South he had been the guest of the president of the local chamber of commerce. He had sat next to an Italian on one side and a Jew on the other and had asked the president of the chamber of commerce whether they were members of the Ku Klux Klan, to which the president replied that they were, but that they were considered all right since everyone in the community knew them. The President remarked that it was a good illustration of how difficult it was to have any prejudice—racial, religious or otherwise—if you really knew people." The President had made those remarks in support of a toast by Prime Minister Churchill for peaceful cooperation with Russia, "that the common danger of war had removed the impediments to understanding and the fires of war had wiped out old animosities."

The Congressional Quarterly tells of Congress hoping to limit monopoly without curbing the growth of efficiency and a high-powered economy, that Congressional study would pick up momentum after release of a report by a Justice Department advisory committee, which had already been leaked. Attorney General Herbert Brownell had asked the committee to determine how to "provide clarity, produce uniformity and ensure a common sense approach to enforcement of antitrust laws". Both political parties would seek to attract votes in 1956 with the issue of monopoly. It had been a political bonanza since the age of President Theodore Roosevelt and his Administration's "trust-busting" approach.

Legislators, administrators and judges had experienced trouble in producing a clear, uniform, common sense formula to curb "bad" monopoly without stunting "good" bigness, something which had been attempted since the passage of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890.

Assistant Attorney General Stanley Barnes, who headed the Department's Antitrust Division, was co-chairman of the study committee, and had told the Quarterly that "conflicting philosophies and theories" prevented mechanical administration of the laws. For instance, questions arose as to whether the Government should always purchase from the low bidder on Government contracts, saving the taxpayer money, or should stimulate competition by spreading Federal money among small, high-cost companies. Mr. Barnes indicated that neither one of those conflicting philosophies could be supreme, that discretion was needed. But when administrators or judges used their "common sense" in exercise of that discretion, a political barrage of abuse resulted.

Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming, who had earned a reputation as a trust-buster in the late 1930's, had told the Quarterly that "Congress should define clearly what is prohibited" and what was permitted, that ambiguous laws transferred the legislative function to the judiciary. Mr. Barnes had stated, however, that broad principles in the law permitted the interpretation necessary to meet new situations.

Congressman Emanuel Celler, chairman of the House Judiciary Antitrust subcommittee, had told the Quarterly that interpretation sometimes subverted even clear Congressional policy, finding that the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission had displayed too much timidity in enforcement, which he hoped would be reduced through committee hearings to provide administrators with the Congressional intent of previous legislation, keeping the necessity of enacting new laws to a minimum.

The greatest number of antitrust bills in the current year had been introduced to settle a conflict regarding interpretation of the Clayton and Robinson-Patman Acts—on which we implore that you not expound too much, as it reminds us of our third-year law school course on Antitrust Law. Those laws banned certain forms of price discrimination—some kind of vertical and horizontal stuff, as we recall. One set of proposed bills would tighten the prohibitions, while others would affirm current judicial interpretations which permitted considerable leeway in defense against charges of price discrimination. More specific legislation was also under consideration, including a bill to raise the maximum fine from $5,000 to $50,000, reported to the House. Hearings had been held on a bill to permit the Government to sue for civil damages, as well. There were also bills to regulate bank holding companies, curb bank mergers, broaden the definition of "trade" and "commerce" and to enable investigating the records of companies with foreign subsidiaries.

Opponents of the Dixon-Yates power combine contract with the Federal Government contended that it would allow monopolistic private utilities to invade the Tennessee Valley Authority's domain. The Justice Department committee reportedly would recommend curbs on "monopolistic" labor union activities and would recommend amendment or repeal of fair trade laws, which permitted manufacturers to fix prices on some products. Critics had challenged the sale of the Federal synthetic rubber plants to large corporations, and plans for industrial atomic energy. Others had questioned whether the FCC and the CAB promoted or hindered desirable competition in allocating television channels and in certifying airlines.

Senator O'Mahoney was working on an innovation by which the Federal agencies, rather than the states, would issue corporate charters, with Congress setting the standards, forbidding such abuses as interlocking directorates and perhaps restricting a company's spread into businesses other than the one for which it was originally chartered. The Senator contended that his proposal would result in "less government regulation", which he found had mushroomed because state charters were blank checks, permitting abuses. To control the abuses, Federal agencies had to be created to enforce the fundamental law, but if Congress set forth the powers, duties and responsibilities of corporations, it would stop the trend of big government taking over when concentration in an industry became too great.

A letter writer provides a teenager's viewpoint on the editorial published the previous Saturday, "The Choke, the Gurgle & the Sob", finds that the youngster the editorial had referenced from television, protracting "Never", in the song "You'll Never Walk Alone", until he practically choked, had probably been imitating the "one and only" Roy Hamilton, whom he finds to be the producer of the "greatest of music", a singer who had made everyone forget Billy Eckstein. He also comments on the editorial's objection to the "No More" hiccups sounded out by the McGuire Sisters, though not named in the piece. He says that for their information, that was "tops" among teenagers. He suggests that when the writer of the editorial had been "flapping" in the 1920's and doing the Charleston, it may have been appropriate to have heard only perfected notes uttered by some "outmoded singer", but that the world was changing rapidly and teenagers were changing along with it. "We just don't dig those 'perfect' sounds any more." "And be-bopping to those 'new sounds', as you call them, is one of the privileges of life!"

The editors, incidentally, had not heard anything yet in the way of hiccupping and stu-hut-tering in the phra-hasing of new-so-hound so-hongs—bo-horrowing, perhaps unco-hosciously or unwi-hittingly, from the So-houthern eva-hangelists' su-hupplications to Ga-hawd.

A letter writer finds that the nation's diplomatic corps in the various countries of the world had competent staffs and was considered a career for the ablest persons. Secretary of State Dulles traveled frequently around the world and carried his staff with him. He finds that the expense must have been several hundred thousand dollars, and wonders what, in addition to that expense, the people of the foreign countries thought, whether they perceived that the U.S. had sent them inferior persons as diplomats, requiring therefore that the Secretary of State arrive in person. He suggests that it implied that the diplomatic service was not up to par or that the Secretary distrusted the reports of the diplomats which he received in Washington. He says that he could not find reports of other similarly situated foreign ministers traveling about the globe, and wonders what Mr. Dulles was doing, that whenever he went abroad, every other government in the world knew it and kept their eyes on him, finding therefore that it constituted "goldfish diplomacy".

A letter writer from Kannapolis indicates that he had subscribed to the newspaper for many years and found it a fine paper, had read the editorials, both the good ones and the lousy ones, but suggests that when a person advocated a veterans' bonus, the newspaper started yelling about why taxpayers should pay for the benefits for the few, and stating that the veterans, themselves, ultimately would have to foot part of the bill. He thinks the matter ought be put before the voters of the state. He also believes that the recent vote of Congress to raise its pay should have been put before the people, in which case it would have been defeated substantially.

A letter writer comments on a letter of March 16 regarding segregation, finding it hard to believe that a "so-called intelligent person could be so misinformed." She indicates that the white man had advanced more than the black man because his opportunities were greater, and wonders whether the previous writer was upset because blacks were qualified for better jobs and so was afraid of losing his job because of lack of qualification. She believes that the writer's comments were calculated to make blacks feel inferior, but that they refused so to feel, and this writer wants to make it clear that they were just as good as the previous writer. She finds that such black men as C. C. Spaulding, George Washington Carver, General Benjamin Davis, W. C. Handy, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes and Adam Clayton Powell disproved the previous writer's claim that blacks could not achieve anything without the aid of white men. She says that there were intelligent people of all races, but that unfortunately there were also people like the prior writer and herself. She informs that perhaps the writer did not know that the first surgeon in Louisiana had been black.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.