The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 9, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the trip to the Far East by Secretary of State Dulles had apparently convinced him that the U.S. and Communist China were heading toward a military showdown, probably regarding Formosa, that in his nationwide address via radio and television the previous night, he had issued two solemn warnings, that U.S. sea and air forces in the Far East were equipped with new and powerful weapons of precision which could utterly destroy military targets without endangering unrelated civilian centers, meant as a warning to the Chinese Communists. He had also stated to the American people that the whole defense system for free Asia would fail unless the U.S. were willing to use their greater force in response to a military challenge from Communist China. His tone had been grim, despite reporting progress on the strengthening of SEATO, formed the previous September, the reason he had gone to Bangkok for the conference. He promised continued arms aid for the Far East and projected U.S. cooperation in improving economic conditions in that area of the world, stating that subversion was the greatest danger in Southeast Asia but that the threat would be lessened when such countries as Vietnam understood that allies had the power and the will to strike down an armed aggressor. A theme running through his address was that the free, friendly peoples of Asia were mainly dependent for their security on "mobile Allied power" spearheaded by U.S. sea and air power, and that if allies did not believe that the U.S. would fight should trouble arise, they would lose confidence and free Asia would fall apart. He stressed that the U.S. was hoping for a cease-fire in the area of Formosa and that it was studying the matter with that view in mind.

In Budapest, leaders of the Hungarian Communist Party this date accused Premier Imry Nagy of "rightist deviationism" and of supporting mistaken "rightist ideas" in speeches and articles. Western observers in Vienna said that the Premier would soon be dismissed from office. He had been the chief mouthpiece of Hungary for former Soviet Premier Georgi Malenkov and his policy of making more consumer goods available for the public. His downfall had been anticipated since the Soviets and Hungary earlier in the year had returned to policies emphasizing heavy industrial production, following the resignation of Mr. Malenkov in favor of Nikolai Bulganin, with real power being held by Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev. A statement by the Hungarian Workers Central Committee, published in all Budapest newspapers, accused the Premier of encouraging elements who sought to frustrate industrialization and deny the necessity of heavy industrial development. Vienna newspapers had speculated that the new premier might be either Defense Minister Mihaly Farkas or Vice-Premier Istvan Hidas, formerly the minister of heavy industry.

The Senate Judiciary Committee this date approved the nomination of Judge John Harlan to the Supreme Court, with Committee member Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois telling newsmen that ten Senators had voted for confirmation, four had opposed and one had voted present. Senator Dirksen said that he believed there would be some floor fight about the nomination, given the four opposing votes on the Committee. Judge Harlan had been confirmed to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in early 1954. The piece does not identify the Senators who cast the four negative votes.

Before the Senate Banking Committee, Winthrop Smith, managing partner of Merill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Beane, the world's largest stock brokerage firm, testified that he doubted that the Senate investigation of stock market conditions and rampant trading based on media tips and rumors had anything to do with the previous day's three billion dollar drop in the stock market, that business conditions were generally good and that trading on the stock market should not be based on day-to-day transactions and variations.

Julian Scheer of The News reports from Raleigh that in a public hearing on redistricting of the State Senate this date, State Senator F. J. Blythe of Mecklenburg County had made the argument for redistricting practically alone, apologizing for the absence of other members of the delegation, whom he said had duties elsewhere. He also expressed disappointment that more residents of the county had not shown up at the hearing to support redistricting, which would dramatically impact Mecklenburg County, as it would Guilford County.

Also in Raleigh, before the State House Roads Committee appeared Charlotte Police Chief Frank Littlejohn and County Police Chief Stanhope Lineberry to oppose a measure to eliminate mechanical timing devices, so-called "whammies", used by the State Highway Patrol to catch speeders. Mr. Lineberry said that radar devices in Mecklenburg County were licensed by the FCC and that the operators had radio licenses, and that the officers gave the motorist the benefit of the doubt, that if the bill passed, 50 persons would be added to the highway fatality list each year.

Also in Raleigh, creation of a youth service board to develop a more positive program to combat juvenile delinquency was recommended this date by a special commission, following a two-year study of the juvenile courts and correctional institutions within the state, indicating that the the new board should aim at giving leadership and coordination in the field of juvenile delinquency services. It also recommended that juvenile court jurisdiction be expanded to include children up to 18 years, at present, jurisdiction ending at age 16. The commission, which had been authorized by the 1953 Legislature and appointed by the late Governor William B. Umstead, had been chaired by future Governor Terry Sanford of Fayetteville.

The News had sent out an expedition to explore Sugar Creek and determine how bad its notorious odor was and how far it extended through the city. At 16 miles long, the creek traversed Charlotte across the city limits, smelled bad, was unhealthy, dangerous, stained homes, damaged nice neighborhoods and was the most controversial subject in town. It notes that the name of the creek was officially Sugar, rather than Sugaw, as it was popularly called, supposedly named for the Sugaree Indians who had camped on its banks. The odor came from dyes, chemicals and other miscellaneous things dumped into the creek by mills, plants and individuals, ignoring an ordinance against such dumping. Beginning June 1, the City would enforce the ordinance and, as a result, the creek might not smell so bad in the future. A disposal plant, at the lower end of the creek, would begin operation at that point and clean the water for persons to the south of the creek. It urges readers to turn to the second front page of the newspaper for a full report—assuming you do not live so close to the creek that the paper has turned black before you get a chance to read it.

Not on the front page, the previous night in New York, Duke, representing the ACC in the 24-team NCAA Tournament despite being the conference tournament runner-up to N.C. State, ineligible for post-season play because of recruiting irregularities, would lose to Villanova, 74 to 73, in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Regional, with La Salle, the 1954 national champion, going on to wallop Canisius on Saturday, 99 to 64, to win the regional title, with the semi-finals and finals played in Philadelphia, La Salle and Villanova having the hometown advantage and Princeton, the only team with a first-round bye in the regional, having home area advantage, the other participants having been Williams College of Massachusetts and West Virginia. Prior to 1976, only one representative from each conference was eligible for the NCAA Tournament. For the second consecutive year, the NCAA semi-finals and finals would be played on Friday and Saturday nights, a week after the regionals, prior to 1954, having been played the following Tuesday and Wednesday nights, still, however, being played in Kansas City at such a late hour, beginning at 11:00 p.m., EST, that Eastern time zone residents scarcely could remain awake to listen on the radio, there having been no national broadcast of the event on television, only in local markets concerned with particular hometown teams.

On the editorial page, "Fortunately, a Fiscal False Alarm" indicates that someone had suggested that the $334,000 in insurance money received from the fire-destroyed Armory-Auditorium in 1954 would not be enough to rebuild the structure. But the Park & Recreation Commission, responsible for the project, said that it would limit the cost of the new structure to the available insurance money. It finds it a sensible decision, that to use taxpayer money to rebuild an auditorium which was of questionable use in the community, given the new Coliseum and Auditorium complex set to open later in the year, would have been unwise. It suggests that there were far worthier park and recreation projects calling for use of taxpayer money.

"New Galahad for Political Folklore" tells of Governor Luther Hodges having told top State officials that State employees loafed on the job, wasting taxpayer money, saying that recently he had walked through 14 offices in one large department, and in nine of them, not one stenographer was working, that they were just sitting around. He found it especially disconcerting when the State was seeking more money from the taxpayers, who had a right to demand their money's worth. He proposed elimination of dawdling, trying to get along without filling vacancies and to eliminate the great number of reports, reduce office files and re-examine purchases.

It says that no Governor of the state had talked like that in years, that Governors usually tried to get along with the administrative offices and that a large, contented State payroll had always represented political strength. But the Governor, who had been elected Lieutenant Governor in 1952 as a businessman, still approached the job from the standpoint of a businessman, concerning himself with profit and loss, production costs and the law of diminishing returns. It finds it a refreshing approach which should impress the people, if not the old pols.

The piece, in its choice of titles, waxes unintentionally prescient, as Governor Hodges, in 1960, would be tapped by President-elect Kennedy to be Secretary of Commerce in Camelot.

"Gobbledygook: Life in the Hereinafter" tells of lawyer-politicians grumbling about the proliferation of gobbledygook, following a study of proposed revisions in the public school laws, with the General Assembly's Senate Education Committee voting to send the laws to the State Attorney General to obtain explanation, despite some of the members of the Committee being lawyers. One member complained that the work of the Committee would have proceeded more smoothly if the proposed legislation had been written by lawyers rather than professional educators. Another member said that the Committee would have to understand the bill before the members could explain it to the people back home or defend it on the floor of the State Senate.

It indicates that Sir Edward Coke had once written that law was the perfection of reason, and it finds that if that were true, then laws ought to be written in reasonable language without disguising simple truths. But, according to Stuart Chase in Power of Words, a lawyer, when asking a friend whether he would like an orange, would have to say: "I hereby give and convey to you, all and singular, my estate and interest, right, title, claim and advantages of and in said orange, together with all rind, juice, pulp and pits, and all rights and advantages therein … anything hereinbefore or hereinafter or in any other deed or deeds, instrument or instruments of whatever nature or kind whatsoever, to the contrary, in anywise, notwithstanding."

That which non-lawyers often do not grasp in such apparently byzantine language is that it is so because of terms of art in the law which require, in some cases, such as in the writing of wills, deeds, or contracts, certain construction of phrases because of their having been interpreted previously by courts to convey a certain meaning, and to vary too much from such language could wind up being overly foreign to a court who might be called upon to interpret the language in the event of a dispute, a dispute often concocted by some lawyer who suddenly has the brainstorm that some other lawyer did not follow the precise wording of prior interpretations, seeing it as an opportunity to make inroads, despite the wording utilized conveying the same meaning, albeit in plainer English, and so…

Is the law a ass? as Mr. Bumble proclaimed it. Yes, many times, it is. But, sometimes, it cannot help itself because so many asses had preceded in lineage, from ancient times, forward, that it is unable to discover its holism.

"Garrulous Lady" indicates that Lady Nancy Astor, originally from Virginia, had stated, among other things, to the Sir Walter Cabinet, wives of North Carolina legislators, that she wanted to be known as "a daughter of the Old South". It says that it could not purge its mind of that business about Southern womanhood in Arthur Wallace Calhoun's Social History of the American Family, wherein he recounted: "Gentlemen of the old regime in the South used to say: 'A woman's name should appear in print but twice—when she marries and when she dies.'"

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Writers' Rights", indicates that there was an old newspaper tale which had it that the late Josephus Daniels, while editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, had only one typesetter who could decipher his pungent editorials, all of which had been written by hand. Once at a Democratic national convention, Mr. Daniels had put forth some appropriate comments through the Western Union telegrapher, who, in desperation, wrote his own editorial and sent it to the paper, Mr. Daniels bragging that it was one of the best things he had ever written.

Another editor, whom the editorial leaves nameless, owed his political policy to his illegible handwriting, in that he had scrawled on the copy paper, "This is not the time to support James M. Cox," which then was printed as, "This is now the time to support James M. Cox." And so he had.

It indicates that there was a new organization called "Handwriting Foundation, Inc.", which had set out to restore legibility of American handwriting, prompting the piece to wonder whether it was actually starting something new.

It finds that a more pressing problem was to educate typewriters to spell out words, recounting that recently it had sought to type "intervened", but the typewriter had printed "interfered", and the newspaper's compositor had thus set it to type that way. It favors teaching younger people, and even old editors, how to write legibly, but also wants an educational foundation forum which would teach typewriters to allow the typists to pick their own words.

You have not seen anything yet. Wait until you have to encounter the Dragon with a dictaphone. It saves a little time and considerable wear and tear on the wrists and fingers, but the penalty is that every now and then, despite assiduous proof-reading, one stupid looking error slips through, such as, "To air is human", which this silly software just wrote on its own, at least not spelling "on" as "own" or vice versa, which is its tendency to do, just to be cantankerous. The Dragon is a very soon silly beast—having just added "soon" on its own to that line. We could go own…

Drew Pearson indicates that the report of the Hoover Commission would be bad news for small farmers, as it would recommend tightening of farm credit, transferring the benefits of farm price supports, in part, from farmers to bankers. The Commission was going to recommend that the Commodity Credit Corporation cease making loans on commodities, and that the Government turn over the three billion dollars of annual crop-loan business to private banks, forcing the farmer to acquire loans against their crops at commercial interest rates, while bankers would not be at risk of loss, as the Government would guarantee the loans. It would amount to price supports for bankers.

Another recommendation by the Commission would call for tightening of credit on farm home loans, with current loan to value ratios being as much as 90 percent under the FHA, but the Commission wanting the agency to require adequate equities under all of its loan programs except disaster and emergency crop and feed loans. It meant that the Commission recommended tightening the loan policy, in line with private banks. But the whole purpose of FHA was to provide loans to farmers who had been turned down by their local banks. The report further urged that Congress require such interest fees, premiums or other charges as would cover administrative expenses, cost of money to the treasury and losses. The effect of that provision would be to boost interest rates paid by small farmers up to between 12 and 13 percent. One of the largest "administrative expenses", for example, was to make sure that small farm loans were sound, which had resulted in a 99 percent FHA repayment record.

Herbert P. Woodward, dean of Rutgers University, in an excerpt from the American Association of Professors Bulletin, discusses the change in the conception of the educated person from earlier times, when that person was distinguished by a great appreciation for literature and history, usually could speak a foreign language and in general conversation would make allusions to poetry, literature or philosophy, sometimes making contributions to those fields. When that person spoke, he or she was quite recognizable as a person of letters, as distinguished from the uneducated.

But now, he finds, the stress was on technical education and efficiency, with people still admiring the learned, but rarely becoming so themselves. As the general population had increased in its educational level, the most educated had declined in their grasp of more than technical information. Quiz shows on television seemed to be the apotheosis of that new form of education, with the handy bit of information being valued over wisdom, and the ability to say "I don't know" in response to a question, while once taken as wisdom, now devalued. The educated man was supposed to have information at his fingertips. Indeed, people appeared to be suspicious of anyone who acquired wisdom with their education.

He believes that educational institutions might undergo the same type of streamlining as the rest of society in modern times, until education would become so utilitarian in its orientation and lacking in cultural flavor that it would lose its essence, the aesthetic values of society.

Dean Harold Stoke of the Graduate School of the University of Washington had recently remarked that the present generation's man of distinction would rarely be pictured with a book in his hand.

He concludes: "I am afraid that already there are too many who cherish as the true ends of education only such material wonders as the television, the deep freeze, streptomycin, high-test gasoline, and jet propulsion, and if they have no concern for the great scientific truths upon which these blessings are based, or the intellectual achievements that made them struggle, that created a free society and an economic system wherein they are available to everyone, then it is truly later than we think, and our concern about the end of true education becomes the 'trumpet of a prophecy.'"

Robert C. Ruark, writing from Palamos, Spain, tells of Beverly Putnam having formed an All-Girl Everywhere Safari, on which 15 women were scheduled to go to Africa for 30 days, then return to Europe where they were guaranteed celebrity status, and then to India in December where they would hunt the big cats.

He suggests that Ms. Putnam appeared not to understand that sambar and chital were not big cats but rather deer, at least by her brochure, and that he would have more confidence in her leadership if she had such basic knowledge. He wonders why 15 women would spend a lot of money just to be greeted by popping flashbulbs and prying reporters when they returned from their adventure.

He vows to stay far away from them, as he found the whole idea ridiculous and dreadful.

A letter from a Southern Bell customer, who appreciated efficiency, responds to a letter of March 5 from a Southern Bell employee, who had said that the company was advanced in its technology but was treating its employees poorly. This writer finds that the Communications Workers of America union and labor unions generally needed to realize that every time their pay was raised or new benefits obtained, such would, in part, be paid by the membership, while only the union bosses would ultimately benefit to an appreciable degree. He says that even though unions had put up most of the money for the campaign of Senator Kerr Scott, they should not count too heavily on his ability to get the "right to work" law of the state repealed.

A letter writer says that parents were responsible for their children in their teens, and that parents of juvenile delinquents should be made to pay for what their children stole or damaged.

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