The Charlotte News

Monday, April 25, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President, in a speech prepared for delivery this date at the annual luncheon meeting of the Associated Press, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, unveiled plans to send a new atomic-powered merchant ship around the world as a dramatic demonstration of the country's determination to win "a just and lasting peace". The ship would travel thousands of miles without refueling, demonstrating, according to the President, to people everywhere the peacetime usage of atomic energy, "harnessed for the improvement of human living". He said that he intended to ask Congress for funding to construct the new ship. He also announced the Administration's program to cut tariffs by 15 percent during the ensuing three years. He made no mention of the entreaty by Communist China during the weekend to negotiate with the U.S. to relax tension in the Formosa area. He did say that "certain dictatorships have engaged in a deliberately conceived drive which periodically creates alarms and fears of war." He spoke of the "unprecedented crises of these days—packed with danger." He then linked freer world trade to the battle against "godless Communism". The Administration's bill to extend the Reciprocal Trade Act for three years had already passed the House, but faced tough sledding in the Senate.

The State Department announced this date that the U.S., Britain and France, through their foreign ministers, would meet in Paris on May 8 to discuss concrete plans for holding a four-power conference with the Soviet Union. The announcement did not indicate at what level it hoped the meeting with Russia could be held, but both the President and Secretary of State Dulles had previously stated that a foreign ministers conference ought precede any meetings of the heads of state. In preparation for the May 8 meeting, technical experts of the three nations would meet in London two days hence to conduct a preliminary study of the problems to be discussed by the foreign ministers. Per the usual practice, the three nations would discuss the possible Big Four conference with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and with representatives of other NATO member governments.

Senator John Sparkman of Alabama had proposed this date that the U.S. test the sincerity of Communist China's peace tenders by seeking to renew U.N. efforts to obtain a cease-fire in the Formosa area. The Senator and some other members of Congress had shown support for the State Department suggestion that the Chinese Communists should first demonstrate their good intentions to negotiate before any conference would be held with them, and that a condition for any such meeting would be to permit Nationalist China to participate as an equal in any discussion concerning the area of Formosa, as the Department had indicated the prior Saturday after Undersecretary of State Herbert Hoover, Jr., had conferred at length by telephone with the President from his farm in Gettysburg. The Department had said that Communist China could show in three ways that it would enter such talks with good intentions, by agreeing to an immediate cease-fire in the Formosa Strait, releasing imprisoned American airmen and civilians, or accepting the U.N. Security Council's invitations to discuss the end of hostilities in the Formosa area. Premier Chou En-lai had stated the previous week at the Asian-African conference in Bandung, Indonesia, that the Communist Chinese did not want war with the U.S. and that they were willing to talk about relaxing Far East tensions, particularly around Formosa. In a follow-up talk at the previous day's closing session of the conference, Chou had said, however, that China would not give up the "sovereign right" to "liberate" Formosa, but that China and the U.S. "should sit down and ease tension in the Taiwan area." The legal status of Formosa remained uncertain, as China had yielded its rights in the island to Japan at the end of the Sino-Japanese War in 1895, and in the Japanese Peace Treaty at the end of World War II, Japan had surrendered its rights to Formosa, with Communist China now contending that the island was rightfully a part of China, despite the Nationalist Government presently holding it.

In Bandung, in the aftermath of the Asian-African conference, Prime Minister Mohammed Ali of Pakistan had said this date that Chou considered the "door to direct negotiations with the United States over Formosa still open a slight crack." The statement followed immediately a 2 1/2 hour luncheon talk with Chou, and Mr. Ali said that he had discussed all phases of the Formosa problem with him.

Harry Shuford of The News tells of the polio vaccinations beginning in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County schools this date, with an assembly-line method of providing the shots transpiring without a hitch. The City-County health officer, Dr. M. B. Bethel, stated that by 1:00, between 2,400 and 2,500 first and second grade children had already received their first of two scheduled shots of the vaccine. Six groups of doctors, nurses and aide-recorders had split into 19 teams to provide the shots starting at 9:00 in three schools in the city and three in the county. Within four hours, almost all of the first and second graders in those schools, plus those at 11 other schools, had received the vaccine. Dr. Bethel said that any schoolchildren who had been absent from school this date or who did not receive the shot for other reasons, could get it by going to the Health Department the following Friday morning, when the shots would be administered during a three-hour period. Children from some of the small private schools would also receive their shots at that time. For the most part, the children had accepted the vaccination program as a lark, with principals and teachers having explained the process thoroughly in advance such that there was little confusion and few tears, once the vaccination process began. There had been a few cases of children becoming upset briefly and having to be sent home, but the doctors attributed it to nervous tension. One principal indicated that the children were too young yet to realize fully what was taking place, and that when they would grow older, they would look back and recall that they were one of those who received the shot during the first year the vaccine was available and realize that it had been one of the happiest days of their lives. What happens when their little arms start falling off after turning green? Then what are you going to tell them? What happens when magnets inexplicably start sticking to their arms? How about the electronic chips they are implanting, producing a loud buzzing in their ears? It's all a plot by those Martians to get control.

Julian Scheer of The News reports that unless there was a late afternoon surge in voting in the municipal election, there would be fewer than the predicted 15,000 voters turning out for the primary this date. The morning vote was the lightest in recent history for such an election, despite there having been perfect weather conditions. Less than 2,000 votes, of the 60,000 registered voters in the city, had been cast during the first four hours the polls were open. It had been anticipated that the primary voting would be light, with a larger turnout predicted for the May 3 general election and bond issue votes.

The Chamber of Commerce Aviation Committee had made public this date a brief submitted to the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, requesting four findings by the CAB to meet the community's urgent needs for increased air transport, to provide additional services between Charlotte and Northeastern destinations, particularly New York, with that service to be rendered by a carrier other than Eastern Air Lines, for new service between Charlotte and Southwestern cities, particularly Dallas and Fort Worth, and for Charlotte to become a "midway city". Midway between what and what, heaven and hell?

Also in Charlotte, it was reported that State Highway Department officials this date had announced that the proposed closing of the Buster Boyd Bridge over the Catawba River had been postponed until September, to accommodate citizens who had protested the earlier announced closure because of the coming summer and the need to use the bridge to access a Boy Scout camp on the other side, among other things. That's a relief.

For those who have not yet learned to read, the photograph in the bottom right-hand corner of the front page shows two young boys testing out their new man-killing pencils which Bob gave them at a meeting of Commies in Washington honoring their father.

On the editorial page, "Taxes: A Cat for Wayward Mice" indicates that fiscal experts for the county and city worked generally with six- and seven-digit figures, and so a few lost dollars in revenue might not seem like much, but when accumulated, amounted to considerable sums. For years, tax evasion in Mecklenburg County had been easy and popular, with the result that the taxpayer who listed property properly and paid taxes correctly and on time suffered the brunt of the burdens.

Now, there was a crackdown on county residents who bought their automobile licenses in South Carolina to evade local taxes. A member of the County tax supervisor's office estimated that there were 1,000 or more such local violators, who were now being sought by city and county police officers.

Automobile registration records were the only means by which local tax authorities could determine who had failed to list their automobiles as taxable property, and if automobiles were not registered in the state, officials were handicapped in their efforts. Many county residents with North Carolina license tags also failed to list their automobiles for tax assessment, hoping to escape detection, which too many had in the past. It suggests that the loopholes should be filled and that the problem existed statewide.

It states that for that reason, it had wanted to see a withholding system implemented by the 1955 General Assembly for the collection of individual state income taxes, which would reveal thousands of state residents who had been paying their Federal income taxes but evading their state income taxes. The withholding tax plan, however, had mechanical defects, which the legislators had been unable to iron out.

It concludes that by cheating their communities or their state, North Carolinians were cheating themselves and their neighbors, that when one individual ignored civic responsibilities and obligations, the burden was passed on to another who had increased taxes. It finds it unfair and undemocratic.

"Review of U.N. Charter Is Necessary" indicates that with the East and West at loggerheads with one another during much of the previous decade, they would not come to any easy agreements on changes to the U.N. Charter. The previous week, former President Hoover had told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee that he did not think the Charter could be "effectively amended", and former President Truman had later opined likewise to the subcommittee.

It indicates that perhaps they were correct, but that U.S. faintheartedness and doubt should not be permitted to stand in the way of a worthy project, that review of the Charter was needed very badly, as the high hopes of a decade earlier for the U.N. had not been fully realized, with the advent of the Iron and Bamboo Curtains. New countries had also arisen in the meantime, including Israel. Former enemy states were moving back into the family of nations, while others, such as India, were achieving great stature in global affairs. It posits that the task for the members of the organization would be to determine the changes necessary to strengthen the U.N. so that it could better serve the cause of international peace and justice. It suggests that perhaps U.S. pressure alone could not accomplish much at a review conference, since amendments to the Charter required the assent of all five permanent members of the Security Council, including Russia. But it also suggests that even the Soviets might accede to suggestions for strengthening the U.N., provided there was enough support for the proposal throughout the world, as the Kremlin would sometimes accede to the weight of international public opinion.

Even if the Charter was not amended, the U.N. could continue to be an important instrument of peace, and there had already been changes to practical operations of the organization without amendments to the Charter, as stalemates in the Security Council, for instance, had led to a shift of that activity toward the General Assembly, where no nation had any veto.

It concludes that whatever would occur with regard to Charter revision, the U.S., as the President had stated, remained irrevocably in support of the organization, as it still represented the best hope "to substitute the conference table for the battlefield."

"Hang Out the 'Men at Work' Sign" indicates that North Carolinians could be proud of the state's Congressional delegation's voting participation record in 1955, as set forth on the page by Julian Scheer, based on figures from the Congressional Quarterly. It recaps some of the highlights, which are stated below.

A piece from the LaGrange Daily News, titled "Grandma's Pantry", tells of everyone remembering grandma's pantry, which was now stimulating interest across the nation again, thanks to some civil defense-minded women, who had designated "Grandma's Pantry" as the civilian defense emergency food storage program.

In earlier times, the pantry had been used to store food for any emergency, from unexpected guests to roads being blocked for days because of a winter storm. Now, the focus was on the potential for an enemy attack, or a tornado or flood, requiring a well-stocked pantry, including a first-aid kit, a flashlight and portable radio, in addition to food. It counsels that if each family did so and stocked enough food and water or canned juices for three days, they would be doing their part for civil defense preparedness.

The idea had begun in New York and had spread to Maine, where the Maine Civil Defense agency expanded the idea, and Governor Edmund Muskie of that state had proclaimed "Grandma's Pantry Week". The idea had then spread to Portland, Ore., where a sample of the pantry was set up at a Food Fair, and now a number of states were planning for Pantry Booths to be featured at county fairs scheduled during the summer. Increasing numbers of women, in such groups as the DAR and the VFW Auxiliary, were becoming involved with the pantry concept.

Drew Pearson indicates that a lot of people had been writing him, suggesting that a reward be provided to Dr. Jonas Salk for having developed the polio vaccine, as the vaccine was not patented and the doctor therefore received no royalties from it. Mr. Pearson had called him up recently, though never having met him previously. He observes that had the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act of 1952 been enacted earlier, he might not have been able to discover the vaccine, as his parents were Jewish immigrants, and his father, a garment worker, had lived in "teeming" Manhattan, where his son had graduated from City College of New York, which Senator McCarthy had branded a breeder of Communism.

He found Dr. Salk to be an humble man, not interested in money for himself or publicity, shunning interviews, as had the late Albert Einstein, who had just died the prior week. He was concerned that all of the children, including the indigent, receive the vaccine, and under present circumstances, not all of them would, partly because there was not yet enough vaccine production, though there would be soon, but also because the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which conducted the March of Dimes campaign, doing a terrific job of battling polio through the years, had not reached its goal for the current year, as contributions had fallen short. Dr. Salk had said that if anyone deserved reward for the long years of battling polio, it was Basil O'Connor, head of the Foundation, and the thousands of tireless workers who had raised money to help the research and the children already stricken with polio. Part of the problem also was that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, headed by Oveta Culp Hobby, had been slow to guarantee a fair distribution of the vaccine. But the basic problem was the lack of money.

The Foundation, which was supplying the vaccine for all children in the first and second grades, would need about 11 million dollars to pay for that part of the vaccine, and all of that money had not yet been raised. There would remain, however, the rest of the nation's children, including kindergartners who were in one of the most vulnerable groups, and third and fourth graders, who were also vulnerable. The most dangerous ages were from birth to nine years, though the danger continued up to age 20. Franklin Roosevelt, who had inspired the Foundation, had been stricken at age 39, in 1921, having run as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee the previous year.

To inoculate all 60 million children up to age 20 would require 120 million dollars, but the Foundation would have a hard time raising the money for even the first and second graders. Mr. Pearson thus suggests to those who wanted to reward Dr. Salk that they should, through various service clubs and organizations, donate to the 3,100 March of Dimes chapters across the country.

Julian Scheer, of The News, as indicated in the above editorial, tells of the percentage voting records of the North Carolina Congressional delegation, including Senators Sam J. Ervin and Kerr Scott, both of whom had joined the Senate only in the previous year, Senator Ervin by appointment by the late Governor William B. Umstead upon the death of Senator Clyde Hoey the prior May, and both Senators by election the prior November.

Senator Ervin, of Morganton, had answered 89 percent of the roll call votes, while Senator Scott, of Haw River, had answered 96 percent of the time. Representative Charles Jonas, of Mecklenburg's district, along with Representatives Herbert Bonner, Hugh Alexander and Woodrow Jones, had not missed any House roll call votes, all based on figures for the first three months of the Congressional session on 28 roll call votes in the Senate and 21 in the House, as compiled by the Congressional Quarterly. All other members of the North Carolina delegation had scored well in terms of response to roll calls, with only Representative Thurmond Chatham having fallen below 90 percent, answering 86 percent of the time. Mr. Scheer presents a table of all members of the delegation and their percentage of answering roll calls during both 1955 and 1954.

He next examines the percentage voting records for all members of Congress. The Democrats overall had voted with their fellow Democrats 90.9 percent of the time, while Republicans had voted with their fellow party members 88.1 percent of the time, thus far in 1955, similar to the comparative voting records the prior year. There were large roll call turnouts for all members of both the Senate and the House, with the latter having drawn 400 or more votes in 12 of the 21 roll calls in 1955 and the Senate having 86 or more members present for 13 of the 28 roll calls. Eighteen Senators, equally divided between the parties, had been present on all 28 Senate roll calls, each of whom he lists, with the lowest score having been for Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who had been ill since the beginning of the Congressional session, following his life-threatening back surgery the prior October and his need to convalesce in Palm Beach, Fla., during the interim.

Other Democratic Senators with low percentages for roll calls had been Lyndon Johnson of Texas, at 46 percent, who had also been ill, (yeah, prob'ly the Red measles, like his buddy up 'ere from Massachusetts), Dennis Chavez of New Mexico, at 50 percent, Richard Russell of Georgia, at 64 percent, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, at 68 percent, and Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, at 58 percent. Republican Senators with low scores were Homer Capehart of Indiana, at 54 percent, Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, at 64 percent, Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, at 68 percent, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, at 68 percent, and John W. Bricker of Ohio, at 71 percent. Mr. Scheer notes that Senators Capehart and Bridges had also been among the low scorers in 1954.

In the House, 135 members, 81 Democrats and 54 Republicans, had been present for all 21 roll calls. Of the Democrats, 10 had been freshman members, whom he lists, including James Roosevelt of California. Of the Republicans, five had been newcomers, whom he also lists. The lowest scores for Republican Representatives had been for Oliver Bolton of Ohio, at 14 percent, Lawrence Smith of Wisconsin, at 33 percent, Robert Chiperfield of Illinois, at 38 percent, Edmund Radwan of New York, at 38 percent, and J. Harry McGregor of Ohio, at 43 percent.

Among Democrats, the lowest scores had been for Herman Eberharter of Pennsylvania, at 24 percent, William Dawson of Illinois, at 33 percent, Charles Buckley of New York, at 33 percent, and George Christopher of Missouri, at 52 percent. He notes that four Democratic Representatives had scores of 57 percent. He also notes that Representatives Dawson and Buckley were committee chairmen, the former, of the Government Operations Committee, and the latter, of the Public Works Committee. Their low voting scores had helped to pull the average for chairmen of House committees down to 87 percent, compared with a 92.2 percent average for all House Democrats.

In the Senate, the low scores for Senators Chavez, Russell, Green and Kilgore, all chairmen of committees, had lowered the average for Senate chairmen to 84 percent, compared to 86.2 percent for all Democratic Senators.

Robert C. Ruark, in Amsterdam, tells of animals traveling better than people in Europe. KLM Airlines had started their business in 1924, when they took a blooded bull to a Paris exposition, and the bull had bruised all the furniture and created another situation before they had gotten him unloaded. Then they had started transporting tigers, lions and elephants for European zoos, which were populated with animals because of the war, and they had also started hauling Aga Khan's racehorses, presently hauling anything except giraffes. The head of the airline had told him that the record load had been three baby elephants, a tiger, several snakes and a lot of birds. (But did any of the snakes get loose on the plane?) He says that the old legend that snakes, tigers and elephants did not get along was false, as it was all in the manner in which they were loaded, with the elephants going in first.

A man who did a variety of things for the airline had told him that he had developed a foolproof method of keeping elephants quiet on planes, merely sticking a chicken on the elephant's head, which would wind up between the elephant's feet. The elephant was sensitive about where it put its feet and so when the chicken was aboard, the elephant remained still.

Regarding the snakes, the same man had told him that he stuffed the snakes with food before the flight and they would sleep the whole way—not unlike moviegoers, who, to break the monotony of boring, formulaic movies which they might attend, have repeatedly to visit the concession stand for respite. Regarding birds, the airline sometimes carried as many as 1,600 pounds of canaries per week, according to one man, a "helluva lot of cheep travel", a pun which Mr. Ruark had not liked, himself, "and so the goat and I went away."

A letter from Bill Williamson, Sr., of Phoenix, Ariz., who had written several times previously about going out into the desert to look for gold, now tells of bill collectors, suggesting that if the highly paid diplomats possessed half of the diplomacy which a successful bill collector had to have, many wars could be avoided. He tells of how he had successfully collected an account against a farm laborer who was unemployed and destitute, with a wife and a hovel about 15 miles from town, telling him, when he began imparting his hard luck, to get in the car with him, whereupon he drove him to a grocery store and bought him $20 worth of groceries, a pair of shoes, a new shirt and overalls, provided him with bus fare and asked him to come to his office the following day, promising to find him a job if there was one available, that in two hours, he had found him one paying $1.50 per hour and talked one of his friends into renting the man a small house near his job at a moderate rental, with Mr. Williamson guaranteeing the first month of rent. He relates that now the man was on much better footing, in a better job, owned his own home which was paid for, and had a son in the service and one who had returned from the service, a married daughter and a sizable bank account. He would break the neck of any person who spoke ill of Mr. Williamson, and he had not only paid the bill he owed initially, but had also paid Mr. Williamson back for his generosity. He says that helping others had always been one of his hobbies and that he had something more important than money, a profession which made him a good living, a conscience which was clear, and the self-satisfaction that he had helped many people to get over the hurdles, making along the way lasting friends of whom he was very proud.

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