The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 20, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Augusta, Ga., the President had asked Congress this date for 3.5 billion dollars to fight Communism around the world, most of it to meet "the immediate threats to world security and stability now centered on Asia." He stated that the preponderance of the requested aid would go for military and economic bolstering of "the vast arc of free Asia." He did not say how much was earmarked for that area, which included such critical trouble spots as Formosa and Vietnam. Harold Stassen, chief of the Foreign Operations Administration, had told a press conference the previous month that of the overall amount for the coming fiscal year, about 2.1 billion dollars, two-thirds of the total, would be set aside for 15 Asian nations. The President had proposed no new economic help for the original Marshall Plan nations of Europe, saying that the immediate threat to world security and stability was in Asia. He did not provide a nation-by-nation proposed breakdown of the amounts to be provided, but some 40 nations would share in the program.

The Defense Department announced this date that Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford and Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson would fly to Formosa immediately because of the "tense situation" which continued in that area. The Pentagon said that the two men would consult with officials of the Nationalist Chinese Government and would proceed under the auspices of the mutual aid treaty with Formosa. The first consultation under the treaty had been held March 3, when Secretary of State Dulles had gone to Taipeh with Admiral Robert Carney, chief of Naval Operations.

In Bandung, Indonesia, at the Asian-African conference, Communist China's Premier Chou En-lai, during this afternoon, agreed to a compromise on the question of human rights. The political committee, composed of the 29 heads of the delegations present, debated for more than three hours on the Palestine question, and seven Moslem countries offered resolutions demanding that the conference support implementation of the U.N. resolution on Palestine. Chou reportedly refused at first to discuss a conference resolution on human rights based on the U.N. Charter, as Communist China was not a member of the organization. But along with the 28 other delegation heads, he eventually approved the resolution. He had supported a resolution on Palestine introduced by Afghanistan, but asked that instead of including any reference to the U.N. resolution, the conference call for a world appeal on the Palestine question. The six other Moslem nations offering resolutions on Palestine had been Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran and Turkey. All of them supported the U.N. resolution on Palestine, which had been critical of Israel. Prime Minister Nehru of India said that while he supported the Arab resolutions and had sympathy for the "tragedy of Palestine refugees", they should consider what the conference could actually do about that problem and that the question of negotiation should not be ruled out. He said that he agreed with other speakers that Zionism was "aggressive" but that they should consider what was behind the situation in Palestine. He recalled that the first conference of the Colombo powers in 1954 had passed a resolution expressing sympathy for the Palestine refugees, and suggested that this conference should adopt a similar resolution. He also suggested that delegations with tabled resolutions on Palestine should form a drafting committee with Carlos Romulo of the Philippines and Prince Wan of Thailand to formulate a conference stand on Palestine. A debate on human rights took place behind closed doors.

In Durham, N.C., Pete McKnight, director of the Southern Education Reporting Service and editor on leave of The News, (though the story describes him as "former editor", despite his decision to leave the newspaper and join the Charlotte Observer having not yet been formally announced), stated before the annual meeting of the North Carolina Congress of Parents & Teachers this date that the South had weathered remarkably well the 11 months since the Brown v. Board of Education decision holding public school segregation unconstitutional. He said that there had not been any serious setbacks to public school education or to the "steadily improving pattern of race relations" in the South since the decision the prior May 17. The Shelby native advised that whatever course North Carolina elected to take, there was considerable merit in avoiding hasty and impetuous action. He said that the Supreme Court had paid heed to the arguments of several Southern states, including North Carolina, and the middle-of-the-road approach of the Solicitor General Simon Sobeloff during oral arguments on the implementing decision the prior week, and that the court's final decision would provide "both latitude and time for adjusting to the decrees." He said that no matter what the decision might be, the state should be flexible enough to allow each community some latitude in working out its own problems, that there would be time for adjustment. He suggested that there was "considerable merit in approaching this issue slowly, thoughtfully and as objectively as possible," and that the final decision would have immediate application only to the five school districts directly before the Court, out of Kansas, Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware and the District of Columbia. He ventured that the necessity of bringing test cases in other areas and the slowness of the judicial process in general would combine to produce a built-in form of delay in general application of the holding. The Service which Mr. McKnight directed out of its headquarters in Nashville, gathered facts on what Southern and border states were doing in light of the Brown decision, not taking sides for or against desegregation but distributing facts to public officials and private citizens through its monthly publication, Southern School News. He favored viewing the question of desegregation within the total context of regional change in the South, with its industrial expansion and diversification, as well as agricultural diversification, along with growing political independence. He said that the race problem was not exclusively Southern or American, that he suspected that the nine Justices who unanimously decided Brown had been thinking, in part, of the larger world struggle between democracy and Communism for the allegiance of the uncommitted 800 million people, most of whom were of color. He advocated that parent-teacher groups be heard in public discussion and participate in public planning on the school issue, that while politicians might be thinking of votes, the parents and teachers were usually thinking of the child and the child's education. He concluded that there was an opportunity available to use the public interest which had been stimulated by the decision for constructive purposes in public education.

In Raleigh, the proposed statewide liquor referendum was killed by the State House Local Government Committee this date, with only a small number of nay votes on the proposal to kill the measure.

In Greensboro, N.C., in the continuing Federal District Court trial of Junius Scales, accused of violation of the Smith Act for being a member of the Communist Party and, in that capacity, teaching and advocating the violent or forceful overthrow of the Government, the defense presented the testimony of two professors, Fletcher Green and Raymond Adams, respectively of the history and English departments at UNC, who said this date that they were acquainted with Mr. Scales while he had been a student at the University and that it was a matter of common knowledge that he was the leader of the Communist Party in the state. Both said that Mr. Scales, who admitted party membership, had been generally regarded as sincere and honest, but misguided. Mr. Scales had graduated from the University in 1947. Reverend Charles Jones of the Chapel Hill Community Church, an interdenominational church, testified that he had a casual acquaintance with Mr. Scales and also considered him sincere, but misguided, that before becoming minister at the church, he had been, for 19 years, minister of the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church. Another defense witness had been Professor Robert Cohen of Middletown, Conn., a professor of physics and philosophy at Wesleyan University. He had taught courses at Yale on the philosophy of Marxism and now taught the same subjects, among others, at Wesleyan. The substance of his testimony is on another page.

The State Highway Commission in Raleigh reported this date that the busiest traffic spot in rural North Carolina was U.S. 29 and 74, just west of Charlotte, which carried over 17,000 vehicles per day, traffic counts conducted by the Commission having demonstrated that volume of traffic. The busiest highway for sustained through-traffic was U.S. 29, from Greensboro to Charlotte to Gastonia, through the industrialized and heavily populated Piedmont section. The major highway carrying the highest volume of out-of-state traffic was U.S. 301, a main north-south artery through the state.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that a Superior Court judge had stated that Charlotte was a "happy hunting ground" for sexual deviates, that the midtown area was the worst situation of any town in the state. He made the statements in the context of a trial of two men charged with an attempted "crime against nature". The judge's statement was fully supported by the solicitor who had supported a sexual psychopath bill which provided for heavier sentencing and treatment psychologically of sex deviates. That bill had been killed by the House Mental Institutions Committee. The judge said that in failing to change the system of sending sex deviates to prison, judges were placed in a terrible position, that he was more concerned about helping the individuals solve their problems than in sending them to penal institutions. The solicitor said that he had recently counted 28 persons in Gastonia who were known sexual psychopaths, and had the legislation not been killed, those individuals could have been incarcerated for treatment. The judge said that the sexual deviates who operated in Charlotte often came from other surrounding towns. The story does not relate the disposition of the trial of the two defendants or the details of the charge against them.

On the editorial page, "Uncle Sam's Stake at Bandung" indicates that after pro-Western statesmen had seized the initiative at the outset of the Asian-African conference, which had opened on Monday, Communist Chinese Premier Chou En-lai had retaliated with his cry for "peaceful coexistence of countries with different social systems," which it finds to be part of a subtle attempt to use propaganda to swing the maximum amount of opinion at the conference toward the Communist Chinese.

Virtually all of the countries represented at the conference were nonwhite, had, at one time or another, been under Western domination, and had been swept by strong currents of nationalism in recent years. Thus, the appeal to such catch-phases as mutual recognition of independence and territorial integrity of nations, nonaggression, equality and mutual respect between nations, and noninterference by nations in the internal affairs of others, would naturally resonate with many of those nations.

It finds that the actual accomplishments and agreements to be achieved at the conference might be few, but that the delegates, who represented more than half of the world's population, would be united on certain broad propositions which would reflect a new search for identity, prestige and influence. Communist China would always be lurking in the shadows, ready and willing to shape them to their own ends.

While the U.S. was not officially involved in the conference, it was as much a competitor for the support and good will of the participants as was Communist China. The President appeared to be aware of the importance of that competition, which appeared to be the reason for his sending a special message to Congress during the week, asking for nearly a billion dollars for economic and technical aid within the "arc of free Asia". It was the U.S. answer to the Communist Chinese propaganda which sought to lure nations into "coexistence", with the Communists hinting of vast benefits from it. It finds that such efforts would impress Asia far more than the previous saber-rattling, doom-forecasting speeches of Secretary of State Dulles. Rather than the threat of atomic war, it would bring promise of new factories, highways, railroads and power plants to underdeveloped nations, things which they desperately desired and needed.

Asia was seeking security, a guarantee of freedom and a promise of progress and happiness. In helping Asia achieve those goals, the U.S. could help itself and all free nations survive in a world of gathering dangers.

"An Ear to the Wall of Freedom" indicates that writer Max Ascoli had asked in 1953 whether freedom and the U.S. Bill of Rights would win the race with electronics, the piece finding that the question was no longer academic, as an investigation of illegal wiretapping by the New York Assembly and renewed interest nationally in electronic eavesdropping had brought the issue back into sharp focus.

U.S. News & World Report had reported that an independent weekly news magazine published in Washington had revealed, in words and pictures, new gadgets available with ears big enough to make virtually all personal privacy a thing of the past, one being a parabolic microphone which radio broadcasters could use to pick up the bands at football games, another being a microphone with a reflector as small as a foot in diameter which could pick up conversations 300 yards distant under ideal conditions. Another device was a tiny radio transmitter the size of a pack of cigarettes, which could beam conversations to a portable receiver and recorder a quarter mile away. Another device was a pocket-sized recorder which was already on sale in large U.S. cities, with its tiny microphone capable of being disguised in a wristwatch. Induction coils adapted for tapping telephones without actually being hooked to the telephone wires had been listed in several mail order catalogs. (Where are the Chapstick microphones? You're going to need those to break into the Democratic National Headquarters a few years down the pike.)

A New York private detective had described those gadgets along with others to a Congressional committee considering the laws on control of wiretapping. It indicates that they were dangerous tools, that in the hands of criminals, could be used for blackmail or worse, that in the hands of spies, could be a threat to national security and even endanger privacy in matters involving business secrets. It urges that wiretapping of any sort should be under tight Federal control, with heavy penalties for police, politicians, business firms, witch hunters, divorce lawyers, private detectives, free boosters and blackmailers who indulged in it. It offers that wiretapping by the Government was inexcusable, except in cases of espionage, sabotage, treason or like crimes.

It agrees with Justice Louis Brandeis when he had written: "The progress of science in furnishing the government with means of espionage is not likely to stop with wiretapping. Ways may someday be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home." It finds that to be the real danger, that electronic eavesdropping was a harbinger of worse things to come to threaten the ideals of freedom and individual privacy.

"The Case of the Chartreuse Girders" comments on some bright chartreuse steel girders which had shown up on a local construction job recently, wondering whether it had been a mistake or whether there was method in the madness, suggesting that a psychologist might have been at work, finding chartreuse to keep the riveters happy. It notes that in the Middle Ages, it was discovered that by painting the Blackfriar Bridge a bright green, suicides could be reduced by a third. Lord Nelson, the British naval hero, had painted the decks of his warships a rich red to reduce the psychological impact of blood from battle casualties.

It prefers to think that the chartreuse girders were simply the result "of some galley slave of commerce with the soul of a poet", and asks not to have its vision spoiled.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "'How Fare American Women?'" indicates that the Commission on the Education of Women of the American Council on Education had issued a report with that title, indicating that women were mixed up, trying to be "mother-housewife, career woman, glamour girl, culture bearer, and status symbols of their husbands or fathers", all at the same time.

It finds that while women ought be fairly inured to the other roles, those few who were determined to become junior executives developed some "fairly sharp stiletto-work" worrying about things they should enjoy, with self-imposed compulsions.

It sympathizes with the younger women who wanted to be loved, whose lot was now especially difficult, as they would not resemble themselves even remotely, according to Faye Emerson, as they were told what kind of lipstick they had to use, what kind of clothes they had to wear, what cocktail they had to prefer, what book they had to talk about, while not necessarily reading same, where they had to go on vacation, and so on. Those prescriptions changed without notice and if the girls did not abide by the latest fashion, they were "on the shelf".

It concludes that it was concerned about the ladies under the wing of the Commission on the Education of Women of the American Council on Education, but that its heart broke for those about whom Ms. Emerson had made comment.

Drew Pearson tells again of the ouster of Ed Corsi from the State Department after just 90 days in his post in charge of immigration, focusing on Scott McLeod, the State Department security chief, who had hired a security detective to trail Mr. Corsi when he had gone to Europe to survey refugee conditions. Mr. Corsi had recounted that everywhere he had gone, he was trailed by that individual, and learned that the person was providing reports to Mr. McLeod on his activities and the people to whom he talked, as well as what he had said to them. At first Mr. Corsi had been amused, but it had become irritating after a time when the security agent started censoring his conversations, telling him directly that he could not talk about certain things deemed classified. While in West Germany, the detective had interrupted Mr. Corsi with the admonition that he was talking about State Department secrets. Mr. Corsi was bemused because the people to whom he was talking were representatives of the State Department. When Mr. Corsi had gone to an East Berlin shoe store to compare prices and quality with U.S. shoes, finding the East Berlin shoes quite inferior and costing eight times as much relative to wages as U.S. shoes of similar quality, and making a statement to that effect, he was shushed by the detective, warning him that he might create an international incident. That was more than Mr. Corsi could take and he stated aloud that he had been incorrect in assessing the East Berlin shoes as being third-rate by American standards, that in fact they were fourth-rate.

A group of Texas legislators had their way paid by a group of lobbyists to the dinner which had honored House Speaker Sam Rayburn recently.

An elevator operator at the Mayflower Hotel had greeted former President Truman by saying, "The Republicans came here with one shirt and one dollar bill and they haven't changed either one of 'em since."

The widow of the late Chief Justice Fred Vinson had greeted Mrs. Truman by saying, "Do you mind if I kiss your husband?"

Federal Judge Thurman Arnold had said, regarding the firing of Mr. Corsi, who had campaigned for Secretary of State Dulles when he had run for the Senate, "Isn't it nice that you have a Secretary of State who will turn his back on a friend?" He was reminding of when Secretary of State Acheson had made a remark which the Republicans had never forgotten, that he would never turn his back on his old friend, Alger Hiss.

A son of Adlai Stevenson had stated to a friend that his father would run again for the presidency.

Sam Rayburn had told glamour girl Evie Robert of the Democratic Party, when she told him that she would bring her platinum blonde French poodle to Texas to help get him re-elected, that if the folks in his district even thought that he knew someone with a dog like that, he could never be re-elected.

A letter writer says that Youth Appreciation Day was long overdue, that mothers were honored on Mother's Day, and fathers on their day, but that the young people were not so honored. She says that only a small percentage of young people were involved in juvenile delinquency and the purpose of such a day would be to show the bulk of young people that they really were appreciated. She hopes that energy would be placed in making Sunday, May 22, Youth Appreciation Day, and not just declaring it so.

A letter writer from Kernersville indicates that in the Southern Bell Telephone Co. strike, he had been reading that the company did not want arbitration of disputes, but indicates that the company had used arbitration for itself, when it had gone before the State utilities commission the previous year and asked for a rate increase in North Carolina, which had not been granted. The company had then appealed that decision into the courts and won. He indicates that the fact that the company had lost in seeking the rate increase before the commission might be a reason it did not want the union members participating in arbitration.

A letter writer responds to a letter of the previous Saturday regarding the Southern Bell strike, and indicates that she also was an employee of the company and had been for 36 years, that the union expected fair treatment from the company, that "any pinhead would know [that the] company's policies won't change other than overtime pay and longer hours for scabs". She believes the previous letter writer had only looked at her own side of the issue, as an employee who was regarded as a scab for keeping the telephone service in operation. She indicates that some of those presently on duty had not been in the offices for ten years and were now using the back door to get in. She says that they all liked the company and the personnel people, that it was a wonderful place to be when there were no difficulties. When she had gone on strike, she had the respect of management and hoped she could return with the same. She finds the strikers much better than the scabs who were working, says that they did not want them, that her definition of a scab was: Suspended; Courage to sign non-members for the union in order to win a radio; Ambition to set a goal when a membership drive was in effect for a dollar for each member signed; and Brains for winning the radio and receiving the money for each new member signed at a dollar per person. She identifies herself as the traffic representative for the Charlotte local of the Communications Workers of America.

A letter writer from Cramerton wonders why some people got so mad when the press and radio did not let Adlai Stevenson make "front page and have time on the air for his mudslinging of the President." She says that he was just a private citizen like the rest of the people and that he should keep his nose out of the business of the Government and the President. She does not know why he would think he could do as well as the President, that as President he would not have time to go to the Far East and make speeches all over the nation, trying to make people think he was the only one with any sense and that the nation as a whole was crazy. She thinks that the President had done a good job of running the country, given the shape it had been in four years earlier. The editors note parenthetically that the President had taken office on January 20, 1953. She wonders where the country would be had Mr. Stevenson been elected in 1952. She thanks God for the President, as he went to church, and that everyone should pray for God to give him guidance and wisdom to run the nation.

A letter writer says that she was one of the many parents who had favored the regular letter-grade system on report cards, which had been revised by the local School Board. She finds that the vote of the parents had been unfair, and proceeds to try to clarify the situation. She continues to favor letter grades and hopes that at least the numerical equivalent could be printed somewhere on the report cards to eliminate vagueness and the lack of standards caused by the present progress report system, producing so much dissatisfaction.

A letter from the president of the Charlotte chapter of the American Business Clubs praises the cooperation of the newspaper provided to past March of Dimes campaigns in the county and the citizens who had worked and contributed to the campaign, enabling the recently approved Salk polio vaccine to be developed.

A letter writer comments on having read an article in the newspaper regarding the county welfare department and illegitimate children, says that if they wanted to eliminate 90 percent of the problem then they should stop contributing to its foundation by sponsoring so-called recreational jam sessions, or moving their hours to the afternoon for one hour instead of having them for four hours until midnight.

Well, they have to jam in their jammies. What's your problem?

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