The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 23, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Bandung, Indonesia, Premier Chou En-lai of Communist China offered this date to negotiate with the U.S. on the tensions in the Far East, including anent the Formosa area, issuing the statement at a luncheon of the Asian-African conference. He said that the Chinese people were friendly toward the American people and did not want a war with the U.S., that the Government was willing to "sit down and enter into negotiations" with the U.S. to discuss the question of relaxing tensions in the Far East, especially the question regarding Formosa. Premier Mohammed Ali of Pakistan said that he had forwarded Chou's statement to Washington, with some suggestions of his own added. He indicated that he believed it was a "great move for relaxing tension", particularly in the Far East. Burma's Premier U Nu, who had assumed the role of an East-West negotiator and planned a trip to the U.S., said that the statement was "a good step toward ending world tension."

In Taipeh, Formosa, a spokesman for the Chinese Nationalist Government, described the offer to negotiate with the U.S. on the situation as "a peace offensive and a well-timed bit of propaganda." He noted that the statement by Chou coincided with the eve of the arrival of U.S. Joint Chiefs chairman Arthur Radford and Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson in Formosa, and suggested that when the Communists found it profitable, they talked of peace, while past experience showed that the U.S. could not do business with the Communists. The spokesman also noted that the U.S. was on record as saying it would not participate in discussions about Formosa without the participation of the Nationalists. He found that the tender was "another Communist move intended to divide the free world." Other sources around the Nationalist Government also regarded the statement as propaganda designed to please the Bandung delegates who wanted the Formosa trouble arbitrated.

The President had conferred this date with Undersecretary of State Herbert Hoover, Jr., regarding Communist China's offer, speaking with Mr. Hoover by phone from the President's Gettysburg farm home, as related by White House press secretary James Hagerty, who said that the President would have no immediate comment on the matter. Officials in Washington reacted with extreme caution to the statement by Chou, but believed that it might be his most determined effort thus far to emerge from diplomatic and economic isolation. There was no formal statement from the State Department. Chou had expressed willingness on several occasions to negotiate a settlement regarding Formosa, but had yet to accept Nationalist China as a participant in the negotiations. Officials said that he would likely get little support from other Far East nations if he again sought to bypass Chiang Kai-shek. But if he did include the latter, it would be a concession for the first time that another China existed and Chiang would be recognizing for the first time that the Communist regime existed.

A late bulletin indicates that the U.S. had called on Communist China to show its sincerity and accept Nationalist China as a participant, as a condition to any direct negotiations on the Formosan situation.

In Las Vegas, it was reported that "Survival City" might be blown off the map on Tuesday as part of an atomic test, dubbed "Operation Cue", to be conducted at the Yucca Flat testing site in Nevada, 75 miles from Las Vegas. The constructed town would be the target of the largest civil defense test ever planned in the atomic age, and how the town stood the test could determine how well other American towns and cities might survive in a potential enemy attack. The multi-million dollar test would involve ten constructed homes and six industrial structures, a radio station, two complete electrical power systems, gas line sections, gasoline tanks and four communications towers, each over 100 feet tall. The Federal Civil Defense Administration said that its portion of the test was costing 1.75 million dollars while more than 150 industrial firms were contributing more than a million dollars worth of materials and equipment. The 500-foot tower, from which the nuclear device would be detonated shortly before dawn on Tuesday, had cost $154,000. More than 2,000 armed forces personnel, 400 civil defense workers and hundreds of Atomic Energy Commission workers would participate in the test, while some 1,400 observers, including 350 newspaper, radio and television reporters would be on hand, located at "News Nob", about seven miles from ground zero. Several hundred soldiers and a few reporters would be inside 55 Patton-48 tanks located only 3,100 yards from the blast site. For the first time, women, both civilians and WAC's, would be in the trenches, at the 3,500-yard mark, and several women would be among the 30 civil defense volunteers selected by lot for front line positions. About 2,000 troops were slated for similar trench locations. Inside the homes would be mannequins of families, and in shelters, some of them within a half-mile of the detonation tower, test animals, probably mice and rats, would be present. Some of the four houses in the test would be furnished and could provide data on the heat-burn resistance of fabrics and other materials.

The Federal Reserve Board the previous night increased margin rate requirements on stock purchases from 60 percent to 70 percent in a move designed to check the use of credit in the rising stock market, the second such increase in less than four months, the margin having been increased from 50 percent to 60 percent on the prior January 5. The first reaction from Wall Street was that the market would probably decline when it reopened on Monday and then recover a few days afterward. One observer said that the increase was not large enough to change the course of the market. Many stockbrokers had been expecting the increase with the rise in credit buying, with some saying that they had anticipated that it would rise to 75 percent. At the end of March, customers had owed stockbrokers and dealers the largest amount of money in the previous 24 years during which records had been kept on the matter, with Federal Reserve member bank loans to brokers and dealers in New York and Chicago having been at 1.9 million dollars on April 20, the largest total since 1938, when those records had begun. Several witnesses appearing before the recent "friendly" investigation of the stock market by the Senate Banking Committee had urged that the margin requirements be raised to prevent the stock market boom from busting.

In Atlanta, Governors of three states, Hugh White of Mississippi, James Folsom of Alabama, and Marvin Griffin of Georgia, went into session this date in a determined effort to end the 41-day telephone strike among Southern Bell employees, spanning nine Southeastern states. They would hear hour-long presentations from each side of the dispute, Southern Bell Co. representatives and representatives of the Communications Workers of America union, after which the Governors would study and discuss the presentations, calling the parties back in subsequently, either separately or together, in an attempt to resolve their differences. Reporters would not be admitted to the meetings.

New violence had flared in the Louisville & Nashville Railroad strike, of similar duration to the telephone strike, as a dynamite blast had ripped up the main tracks near London, Ky. A short time earlier, side effects of the L&N walkout had spread further in Birmingham, Ala., when operations of three additional railroads had been crippled by sympathy demonstrations, with pickets halting train crews at the interchange yard of the Illinois Central, the Frisco, and Central of Georgia, with the strikers indicating that the three lines affected had been handling L&N freight.

In New York, James Carey, secretary-treasurer of the CIO, said this date, before the 50th anniversary meeting of the League for Industrial Democracy, that a unified labor movement could exert enormous unified political leverage on behalf of civil rights in the country, hailing the signing the prior February 5 of a merger agreement between the AFL and CIO as occurring on "one of the most significant dates in the 179-year old struggle for the extension of American civil liberties and democratic rights." He said that the struggle for increasing democracy ought begin within the trade union ranks. The merger of the two labor organizations would not be formalized until the following December.

In Cosby, Tenn., preparations were being made for the arrival of former President Truman, despite the fact that only 20 of the 400 voters in the area had voted for him in the 1948 election. He would have competition when he arrived the following day from the ramp, a member of the lily family, which grew wild at the 3,000-foot elevation and smelled and tasted something like an onion coated with garlic, coated with vinegar. The festival of the ramps, an annual affair, was beginning in the town, a moonshine capital. The previous year, 20,000 tourists had attended the event, and with the former President in attendance this year, 50,000 people were anticipated. The festivities would begin this night, with a play by a local author, about mountain people performed in mountain patois, and would climax the following afternoon with the address by the former President. The main attraction would be a feed on ramps cooked in fatback with barbecued chicken on the side, the proceeds going to the local Ruritan Club, for civic development. The festival had been conceived by a former Federal prison worker who, in his prison work, constantly ran across someone from Cosby who had been incarcerated for moonshining. He said that they did not want to participate in moonshining by choice, but because their farms had not been large enough to support a family, and so, worried about the future of the town, he got the idea of the festival to attract tourists with the aroma of the antisocial ramp, considered a delicacy in those parts, while flatlanders, who spent their money and ate things in self-defense, considered it smelly. Upon arrival the following day, the President would receive a 21-gun salute, fired mostly by Republicans. He would return to his native Independence, Mo., on Monday.

In Chicago, Siamese twin girls, born the previous October 1, who had been successfully separated by surgery the prior Thursday, were reported in satisfactory condition this date.

In New Bern, N.C., it was reported that a stiff, dry north wind had caused the Croatan National Forest fire to blaze anew the previous night, destroying an additional 20,000 acres, while being brought under control again this date. The fire had started Wednesday morning but had appeared under control until the previous day's late wind. The fire had destroyed an estimated 30,000 acres before its resurgence. A U.S. forest ranger in charge of the forest said that the fire was not an accident or prank of nature, but had been "a carefully planned and carefully executed job," started at five separate points near the railroad line operated by the Marine Corps between its large bases at Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune, theorizing that hunters may have started the fire because the brush was getting heavy.

Thunderstorms and rain had hit wide areas of the middle section of the country this date, after violent spring storms had hit several areas in Southern states the previous day, with the heaviest storm damage having been in the southeastern Missouri section, where small tornadoes had damaged buildings, uprooted trees and knocked out power and telephone services. Damage estimates were between $500,000 and $800,000. Mild weather continued in the southeast quarter of the country and westward across the Southern Plains states, with some blowing dust reported over the dry sections of the Southern Plains.

Julian Scheer of The News indicates that a strong plea to move the headquarters of the North Carolina State Ports Authority to Raleigh from Wilmington had been made by a Morehead City delegation at a meeting of the State Ports Authority in Charlotte during the morning, with the Morehead City representative stating that the move would end bickering between Morehead City and Wilmington over port trade in tobacco and textiles, saying that Morehead City had not received the attention it should have, there having not been enough effort to support it as a tobacco port. He believed that moving the port offices would relieve the pressure and influence from the people located at the office in Wilmington, and believed Raleigh would be the logical location.

In London, a leading medical hypnotist, Dr. S. J. Van Pelt, writing in the British Journal of Medical Hypnotism, said this date that falling in love was a lot like being hypnotized, that a lover appeared indifferent to the attractions of others while a hypnotized person paid attention only to the hypnotist, that a lover was easily swayed by the opinions of the loved one, while a hypnotic subject was easily influenced by the suggestions of the hypnotist, and that love could change the habits of a lifetime, as could hypnosis.

A new serial romance by Rob Eden would begin this date on page 2-B, "Dance Sister, Dance", the story of youthful, lovely Mary Cameron, who found her ruthless sister's antics a vise gripping her heart to the breaking point. You do not wish to miss a single exciting chapter of that, as you will be in love by story's end.

On the editorial page, "Sugar Creek: A Community Problem" remarks of the problematic creek, with its odors resulting from industrial and other forms of waste product being injected into it on a regular basis for years, creating a noisome problem for surrounding neighbors. But no one appeared to wish to take up the challenge to clean it up.

For awhile the prior Thursday, it appeared that State Senator F. J. Blythe of Mecklenburg County was ready to help do so, by introducing legislation to enable the County Board of Commissioners to clean it up by ordering construction of a concrete culvert, to be paid for by property owners within a half-mile radius of the creek, at the rate of a nickel per square foot of their land. But, after a series of protests, by Friday morning, Mr. Blythe had explained that he was not selling the bill but merely giving the residents a wagon on which to ride in, meaning that he was providing the legal machinery for a clean-up if the county wanted to use it. The principle was not new, that in 1911, as Mr. Blythe had explained, there had been a law enacted which permitted an assessment of five dollars per acre for land within the half-mile range of the creek.

It finds that there were major flaws in the proposal which made it unfeasible, as the creek's odor was not just a problem of the immediate residents surrounding it, but also impacted the reputation and pride of the whole city, and that by allowing it to exist, the entire community was to blame, such that the responsibility for cleaning it up could not be localized. Nor was its ugliness confined to the arbitrary half-mile area proposed by the bill. It ran across the entire community, marring the charm and beauty of the whole city, again causing it to be the entire community's responsibility. It finds it unfair to impose such a responsibility only on the nearby property owners and thus recommends that the search for a solution continue and that if the local industrial waste ordinance could not suffice to do the job, another method should be adopted, and that if the culvert was the answer, then the cost for it should be shared by the entire community.

Solicit suggestions for a catchy slogan, and hold a contest for a Cadillac, to be donated by a local dealership, charging entrants a dollar apiece for entry, and pay for it that way. We should win, with one of the slogans: "Build the Flow-way To Carry the Throw-Ways", or "Don't Hold Your Nose over Sugaw; Make Bold To Have It Glow as a Gewgaw". One of the two ought to get us the Cadillac and so we recommend that solution.

"'Full Ballot' Bill Is Unreal" indicates that State Senator C. V. Henkel's proposal to outlaw "single-shot" voting in the state carried apprehension about the political power of minority groups to absurd lengths. It was true that under the single-shot system, special interest blocs could boost a particular candidate's strength by voting for him alone, even though the election was to fill several vacancies on a board, council, commission or legislative delegation, and that by demanding that an elector cast a vote for as many candidates as there were offices to be filled, as proposed, the state would eliminate that device. But, it finds, in halting one undesirable practice, the law would impose an unfair and unreasonable requirement on the voter.

There was nothing in the democratic tradition which compelled an elector to vote for someone or something the person did not want, just to have the vote counted for someone or something which the voter did want. It was an important obligation of citizenship to learn all there was to know about all candidates, but some citizens did not get around to it and should not be compelled to vote blindly for people of whom they knew nothing, just to fill up the ballot. It thus finds the proposed bill, while well-intended, to be ill-conceived and unfair.

"Applause for 'A Man Called Peter'" indicates that seldom had a motion picture tugged at the heartstrings of Charlotte moviegoers with such compelling force as "A Man Called Peter", and seldom had "an essentially spiritual theme been handled with such taste, basic warmth and profundity by Hollywood."

The film was based on Catherine Marshall's 1951 bestseller of the same title, the story of her husband, the late Peter Marshall, one of the most forceful and remarkable Presbyterian ministers of recent years, appointed chaplain of the U.S. Senate in 1947 and holding that office until his death two years later. He had been one of the youngest men ever to become chaplain of the Senate and was the only naturalized American to hold the position, having been born in Scotland in 1902 and immigrating to America in 1927.

It finds that Hollywood had departed from the usual movie formula in producing the picture, having been a success and love story, but more importantly, "a story told in terms of God's intimate participation in the affairs of man." It regards it as a faithful portrayal of a great and humble man, who had been no stranger to Charlotte. It presented a spiritual message of great strength, while avoiding undue sentimentality.

Actor Richard Todd, playing the title role, had effected a portrayal which ranked with his earlier acting triumph in "The Hasty Heart", with one of the more difficult assignments of the role having been the delivery of several of Dr. Marshall's sermons in condensed form, including the famous death sermon delivered to the U.S. Naval Academy a few hours prior to the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Actress Jean Peters had also been effective in her role as Mrs. Marshall. "Clearly, here is a motion picture of rare quality and wide appeal."

Sorry, but we find it, at least judging by the three scenes from it available online, though never having seen the film in its entirety, to be a long outdated piece of schlock, which does not in any manner detract from the actual story of Dr. Marshall. It's Hollywood of the worst sort at work in the 1950's, some of which had matured, but a large part of which remained stuck in the old mold of trying didactically, through overly stilted sermonettes, Bible movies shall we call them, to change the world into the image of mom and pop and cherry pie and Jesus and all sweetness and light, when the horse was long already out of the barn in every mom and pop village and town throughout the land—schlocky. It is the difference between an advertised world for the sake of attracting consumption for economic gain and the actuality of daily existence as it is commonly experienced. That sort of rose-colored perception only makes things worse through obscurantism, breeding false expectations, ultimately leading to reactive cynicism. The era of President Truman understood this cultural phenomenon fairly well and better faced it realistically after a long, bitter period of economic depression and war, but the era of President Eisenhower, though not his personal fault, appeared too often busy, in part, trying to deny that reality and to remake the world through a lens of unreality, as if none of the Twentieth Century had in fact transpired, seeking to wind back the clock to another, pre-industrialized, age, perceived as more innocent, even though it was not, to a time not much after the 1850's or so.

In truth, of course, the 1950's were not the great bastion of innocence, warmth and good will with which popularly they have come to be identified in the minds of many who either did not live then, rely on movies or songs which seek to recreate the popular imagery of the time, have not really studied much more than popular culture for any period of time, or were so young that they associate youthful naivete and innocence with the age in which they were children, and so view the surrounding world through that lens, one in which the percipient witness had not yet learned even to read and so was confined to a degree of ignorant bliss, rather than seeing the full extent of the reality of the times then extant from the adjusted perspective of later adulthood.

So, anyway, it's a schlocky film full of unreality. Schlocky is the operative word. Avoid schlockiness unless you wish to wind up reeling in the unreal. Most color movies of this period, in CinemaScope, were of that sort, schlocky, and so we have a preconditioned prejudice against them. Stick, for the most part, with the exception of Alfred Hitchcock films and perhaps a few others, to the black-and-white fare until the early Sixties, whether foreign or domestic, as those are the films which were forced to rely on script, direction, and creativity in use of light, shadow and camera angles for their quality, rather than seeking the dumb-show audience via the novelty of brilliant colors and lush scenery, combined with flat, preachy, moralistic dialogue or monologue, still a distraction when carried too far on film, especially when the characters are portrayed as one-dimensional cardboard cutouts, all-heroic or all-antagonistic, never obtaining in ordinary human experience.

"Score Card" indicates that the news items during the week that the Salk vaccine was between 80 and 90 percent effective and that Albert Einstein had died, both men having been hailed the world over, led to the conclusion that it had been a rough week for the anti-Semites.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Why Spoil the Story of Lady Godiva?" indicates that its first reaction to the debunking of the legend of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom by historian John Shelton, was that the latter should be sent to Coventry, and that his friends should become ex-friends and that no one should have any further association with him. He already lived in Coventry and so it was unsatisfactory to have him sent there.

The legend had it that Lady Godiva, the wife of the Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry, during the 11th century, had nagged her husband for having imposed oppressive taxes, until her husband, in a fit of exasperation, said that he would lower the taxes when his wife rode through the town naked on a horse. Lady Godiva had then sent a proclamation through the town advising of her intentions, and when she actually conducted her ride, all of the townspeople had kept their eyes closed and shades drawn, except a man named Tom, who had been caught peeping and was struck blind, known ever after as "Peeping Tom".

But now Mr. Shelton had claimed to find two principal errors in the legend, that the ride had taken place in 1042, at which time, Lady Godiva would have been 60 years old, and furthermore, that her husband had been "a good, kind, generous man" who would never have thought of spoiling a good story, particularly one which complimented his wife.

The piece finds that the fact that Lady Godiva was older than previously thought did not kill the story, as there must have been "something good, daring and attractive" about her to provide the motivation for a legend, and that if the peasants, yeomen, cobblers, smithies and knights had gradually improved upon the story over the years, there was no harm in it. It concludes that Mr. Shelton of the geographical location of Coventry, should spend a few months in the metaphorical location of Coventry.

Drew Pearson indicates that the last time Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had issued a list of the first 100 companies getting Government defense contracts had been on January 11, 1954, in contrast with the past when that practice had been routine. The 1954 list had shown that G.M., the company which Mr. Wilson had headed before becoming Secretary, was the leading recipient of such contracts, at 72 percent. The fact that no such list had been released since that earlier time was troubling to newspaper editors, presently in Washington for their annual meeting, the newspapers already under attack by former President Truman for not printing the truth about the current Administration.

Mr. Pearson presents a cross-section of Pentagon news which had been censored, either during or shortly prior to Mr. Wilson having become Secretary in early 1953. He indicates that in 1953, Ford and Chrysler, former producers of the Patton M-48 tank, had been arbitrarily declared out of the tank's production, while G.M. continued its production, that Studebaker, an independent company, had been ordered to end construction of the 2.5-ton truck, that Chrysler and American Locomotive had been ordered to stop production of the M-47 tank, while production of the M-41 tank had been continued at full speed at the Cadillac plant of General Motors. G.M. had also been ordered to take over antiaircraft gun production, eliminating American Car & Foundry. All of those orders from the Pentagon had been censored. The Defense Department was required by law to submit its contracts to competitive bidding, but that was being done only 9 percent of the time, with the result that big business got most of the contracts, news of which was also being censored. G.M.'s Fisher Body division had been provided a contract to make 757 vertical turret lathes at $90,600 per lathe, despite having no experience in that field and that an experienced firm out of Connecticut had bid only $38,000 for the same contract, the contract having gone to G.M. on the recommendation of a G.M. official who had been loaned to the Government. Mr. Pearson proceeds to provide other such examples which favored G.M., all of which had been censored but had been dug out by the column and published since January 24, 1953, shortly after the start of the Eisenhower Administration.

He notes that many of the brass hats at the Pentagon welcomed public scrutiny and believed the taxpayers were entitled to know the truth, examples of which were Brig. General Emil Kiel, who had sent a special plane from Ecuador to Panama to obtain his dinner jacket, costing taxpayers $4,000, and Army officers who had signed a contract to purchase combat boots for $24.65 each, while the Marine combat boot, which was almost identical, cost $16.80.

Walter Lippmann tells of Dr. Wellington Koo, Nationalist Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., having the prior Monday given a speech setting forth the attitude of his Government in Formosa, indicating rejection of any proposal to withdraw the Nationalist troops from the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu. While he pretended, as a good diplomat, that he was speaking of "the well-meaning pacifists of the free world" who were "the sponsors of fanciful formulas", he had been evidently considering the speech made the previous week, broadcast nationwide by radio, by Adlai Stevenson, speaking at or over the head of Secretary of State Dulles.

Mr. Lippmann regards the formulas on which Dr. Koo was speaking to be variations on two basic themes, the first designed to strike a balance with Communist China, in which the offshore islands and perhaps seating of Communist China at the U.N. were to be provided in exchange for Communist China agreeing not to use lethal weapons to take Formosa, and the second being Communist Chinese military coexistence with the Nationalist regime on Formosa. That was the general idea in Washington when the Formosa resolution had been passed earlier in the year by Congress.

He regards Dr. Koo as correct in rejecting those formulas and calling them "fanciful", that they were an attempt to appease the Communists. But he finds it hard to believe that Dr. Koo was really concerned about those formulas, because they had become so fanciful, being rejected also by the Communist Chinese. What was actually of concern to him was likely the attempt to negotiate among the allies to effect a guarantee of Formosa in return for disengagement from the offshore islands, a formula which could help the President and Secretary Dulles disentangle themselves in Congress. But if it were a serious international agreement, it would have to be a guarantee against the military conquest of Formosa in return for a U.S. guarantee not to provide military support to the return of the Nationalists to the mainland and to treat the Nationalist regime as provisional until there was a settlement by international agreement of the status of Formosa.

Dr. Koo had stated in his speech that the Nationalist troops would remain on the offshore islands, and if necessary alone, a statement directed primarily at the U.S. discussion among the allies. He was effectively saying that if Secretary Dulles were to strike such a bargain with Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, Chiang Kai-shek would still refuse to leave the offshore islands. That being the case, the President's dilemma would remain, as the Nationalist troops stationed there were reported to constitute about a third of Chiang's army.

Mr. Lippmann concludes that it was an illusion therefore to regard the offshore islands as assets in bargaining either with the Communists or with the allies, that the truth on which U.S. policy ought to be based was that the offshore islands were liabilities, both strategically and politically, making the problem how to liquidate those liabilities without a tragedy. Contrary to widespread opinion, the security of Formosa was not enhanced by Chiang's adamant stand in remaining in the offshore islands, but rather was jeopardized thereby, that the islands were important to the security of Formosa only because they increased its insecurity. For if a general war with China were to erupt, and if it would be fought with nuclear weapons, as chief of Naval Operations Admiral Robert Carney favored, the question would arise as to how the U.S. could defend Formosa, itself. In the likely event that the Communist Chinese had received from the Soviets nuclear weapons, or been promised same, then a full-fledged nuclear war could result, with Formosa being a vulnerable target for nuclear strike, for its being a small island without space behind it, infinitely more vulnerable than the mainland of China with its vast spaces and enormous population.

He questions what Japan would do in such a war and whether it was reasonable to imagine that it would and could permit the U.S. to use its territory as a base against an ally of the Soviets, Communist China, when the Soviets had an air force and a stockpile of nuclear weapons, and was but two hours flying time from Japan.

Mr. Lippmann indicates that it would be well for Dr. Koo and his American friends to stop pretending that only "well-meaning pacifists" or appeasers were in favor of disentangling the U.S., and, if possible, Chiang also, from the military trap in the offshore islands. The issues could not be disposed of by such contemptuous terms as "pacifist" and "appeaser". The vital interests of the U.S. were at stake and those who held the view that the offshore islands were a liability and a dangerous entanglement, which included military leaders and statesmen both in the U.S. and abroad, did not need to worry about invidious comparison with such hawks on the subject as Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford, Admiral Carney, General James Van Fleet or Senator William Knowland.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that one out of every three Congressional committee meetings was being held in executive session, but that there were signs that Congress was becoming sensitive to public criticism of that form of secrecy. There had been a total of 986 meetings since the start of the 84th Congress on January 5 through April 13, when the Senate and House had reconvened after the Easter recess. Of those meetings, 353 had been in executive session, 35.8 percent of the total. During the first three months of 1954, 38.4 percent of the meetings had been held in executive session, and 41 percent during the entire prior year. Thus, there was some decline in the practice.

One or more committees had taken steps to keep notice of some of the executive sessions out of the public record, however, in one instance, the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee's special subcommittee on investigating employee funds having met in executive session on March 17, 18 and 19, but without any record having been placed in the Daily Digest of the Congressional Record, where it normally would be listed. Given that status, it was impossible to determine with certainty whether secret meetings had actually declined or increased.

During the first three months of the prior year, the House Education and Labor Committee had held 29 meetings, of which 28 had been closed to the press. During the entirety of 1954, the Committee had held 59 sessions, 54 of which had been closed, that 92 percent executive session figure having been the highest for any committee during the previous year. During the first three months of 1955, that Committee had held 16 sessions, only two of which had been closed, or 12.5 percent.

The House Ways & Means Committee had also improved its percentage of closed hearings, with 32 of its 40 sessions having been closed during the first three months of 1954, and 53 of 76 sessions for the whole year, whereas in the first three months of 1955, eight of the 27 meetings had been closed.

Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, had announced on January 25 that he would keep executive sessions to a minimum, except where security considerations demanded it. The record in 1955 had been thus far 26 of 79 hearings having been held in executive session, or 33 percent, similar to the 28 percent closed meetings during the first three months of 1954, and the 44 of 133 closed sessions during the entirety of that year.

The Senate Armed Services Committee had met in secret more often, with its score during the first three months of 1954 having been 51 percent, and 55 percent for the year, compared to 69 percent during the first three months of 1955.

Only the Senate Rules Committee, which had met thus far in 1955 in secret seven or eight times, had a higher score for secrecy on the Senate side during the previous year.

A letter writer, vice president in charge of sales for Cole Manufacturing Co., provides support for Jim Smith, a member of the City Council who had been left in charge of the city while Mayor Philip Van Every and his wife went to Holland for the tulip festival, as a result of the contest by the Dutch tulip growers who awarded Charlotte the prize for best tulips produced from bulbs sent to several U.S. cities by the tulip growers. He says that the Mayor must have reposited a lot of confidence in Mr. Smith to leave him in charge, and that he had received the largest vote in the prior City Council election two years earlier, hopes that he would be elected again with an even greater majority.

A letter writer indicates that he had come to Charlotte with his family in late 1916, and shortly thereafter had met Mr. Smith as a boy living across the street, had gone to grammar school and high school with him and had associated with him in church and community work, also recommends him for re-election to the City Council.

But can he grow tulips?

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Is Contained A Two-Word Description Of A Person Too Conservative In The Matter Of Spending Money:




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