The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 28, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Saigon, a square mile area was burning this night and hundreds had been killed or wounded in bloody fighting for control of South Vietnam's government. The U.S.-supported Premier Ngo Dinh Diem had declared war to the finish against the rebel Binh Xuyen society, after a triple attack by the latter on the presidential palace and army and police headquarters. Three battalions of Nationalist infantrymen and parachute troops, supported by tanks, had waged a counter-attack on the 5,000-man private army of former river pirates, who controlled Saigon's gambling and vice establishments. They were heavily outnumbered by the Government forces. By nightfall, the Premier had appealed over Government radio for calm, saying that the Government troops had the situation under control, accusing the rebel General Le Van Vien of having ignited a civil war and disobeyed an order from the Chief of State Bao Dai to refrain from violence. Following six hours of fighting, the Army said that it had disengaged the rebels from both Nationalist Army headquarters and the headquarters of the national security police, where there had been some hand-to-hand combat. The Binh Xuyen forces were being pushed back toward the bridge which led to their territory in Cho Lon, the Chinese sector of the city about seven miles from the French residential and business area of Saigon. Casualties were estimated in first reports as being 120 dead and 300 wounded. The Government troops had taken four of the rebels' principal garrisons and posts held in Saigon and Cho Lon. The U.S. was counting on South Vietnam to withstand the effort of the Communists in the North to extend their control into the South. The Binh Xuyen and two religious sects, the Hoa Hao and the Cao Dai, had been demanding that Premier Diem quit in favor of a coalition government, in which they would have increased representation, a demand which had been refused. The prior March 30, the rebels had initiated an attack which had wound up in at least 26 persons being killed, after which a truce was effected, with Premier Diem, however, not relenting in his efforts to place his Government in complete control, seeking to take over the security police from the Binh Xuyen. The Premier had named a new head of the security police two days earlier, and the fighting this date had broken out within 90 minutes after a deadline had expired for the rebel troops to get out of the streets. Although the French had opposed direct military action against the rebels, Premier Diem had given the order to attack after consulting with French General Paul Ely, the commissioner-general.

At The Hague in the Netherlands, the Paris treaties providing for rearming of West Germany for Western defense cleared the final parliamentary hurdle this date, with the Dutch Senate approving the pacts by a vote of 32 to 2, previously ratified by the legislatures of all 14 other NATO nations. The Dutch House had approved the treaties on March 30 by a vote of 71 to 6. West Germany anticipated the end of Allied occupation and its sovereignty to be restored by early the following month, and its enrollment in a seven-nation Western European Union and in NATO was planned for meetings scheduled to start in Paris on May 7. The pacts also provided the WEU with political control of the coal and iron-rich Saar region, the border state which had been linked economically to France since the end of World War II, but was primarily German-speaking. West Germany was slated to build up an army, air force and navy totaling a half million men, but German and Allied military experts had estimated that it would take at least three years to do so.

In Washington, public health authorities expressed anew this date their confidence in the Salk polio vaccine, even as they checked the possibility that some of the batches from one of six manufacturers of it might have been faulty, after it had been reported that eight children had been stricken by polio, one fatally, within a week of receiving their first of two vaccine shots, and four other suspected cases of disease had also been reported. In each case the vaccine had been manufactured by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif., which said that more than 750,000 doses of its product had been issued. Surgeon General Leonard Scheele of the Public Health Service called for continued vaccinations under the program in other areas of the country where the vaccine was being supplied by the five other manufacturers without reported incident, but that as a precautionary measure, all further use of the doses manufactured by Cutter had been ordered halted pending further tests, with the result that the inoculation program was stopped in most of the areas of the West Coast where it was being supplied for free use in the schools. General Scheele said that his own seven-year old son would receive the first shot as scheduled early the following month. Meanwhile, Federal and state officials worked in California to determine whether the problem had originated from faulty vaccine or merely by coincidence, that is, infections which would have occurred without introduction of the vaccine. Five of the eight diagnosed polio cases in conjunction with receipt of the vaccine, and three of the suspected cases, had occurred in California, with two others having been reported from Pocatello, Ida., and one in Chicago. Another suspected case had been reported from Denver, where a 13-month old child had been inoculated with vaccine supplied through commercial channels. Officials stated that it normally took 10 to 14 days after exposure for polio to develop and emphasized, therefore, that it was possible that all of the stricken children had been developing the disease before receiving the vaccine. The Cutter vaccine had been supplied to parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Hawaii and Nevada, with much smaller shipments for commercial use having been made to other areas of the country. The mass inoculations were halted immediately in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Idaho, while health officials in Nevada said that they had already completed provision of the first shots and that no cases of polio had been reported among the children who had received the vaccine. Dr. Salk agreed with authorities that withdrawal of the Cutter vaccine was the safe thing to do.

As captioned under a photograph, one four-year old child in Oakland, Calif., had suffered partial paralysis of his arm a week after receiving the vaccine. His mother, a registered nurse, said that she had bought the vaccine, manufactured by Cutter, at a pharmacy and had administered it, herself.

Harry Shuford of The News reports that the City-County health officer, Dr. M. B. Bethel, had said this date that he had received a wave of protests against the suspension of the mass inoculation program in Charlotte, but he said that the program would be resumed the following week. The inoculations of first and second graders had been ordered halted at a meeting between Dr. Bethel and local Medical Society officials the previous night, following disclosure of the problems in other parts of the country. He said that the program would be suspended until the national situation was clarified.

You just wouldn't believe us, would ye? We told you about the Martians. Just wait until their little arms start turning green and falling off all over the country, maybe even years or decades later. You'll learn to listen. Test them with the magnets.

Julian Scheer of The News indicates that the Mecklenburg County Medical Society had been summoned to appear before the North Carolina Medical Society for the local society having admitted to its membership black physicians. The officers of the local society had been notified the previous day that they would have to appear before the state society's house of delegates at Pinehurst the following Monday to show cause why they should not be expelled. The members of the local society had known for some time that the state society's constitution prohibited black membership and thus that the state society opposed the change, which had been voted by the local society in April, 1954, omitting the word "white" wherever it appeared in the constitution and bylaws. What's next on the agenda, changing "leukocytes" to "mavrocytes"?

In Survival City, Nev., the Atomic Energy Commission postponed for the third successive day the planned nuclear test, because of adverse wind conditions which could have carried dangerous levels of fallout into three small communities in north central Nevada. The 5,000 observers and participants, including for the first time 2,000 women, headed back home from the test site at Yucca Flat. Two of those communities, Alamo and Elgin, had earlier received a considerable amount of radiation in prior tests, with Elgin having received 3.5 roentgens, and Alamo, 1.5. The other community which potentially could have been impacted by the test had it gone forward this date, was Caliente. A test community had been constructed for the test, dubbed Survival City.

In Chicago, separate fires in a hotel and an apartment building had caused the deaths of at least 12 persons this date, including a fire captain and three children. The coroner and fire department officials said that the hotel fire had been set by an arsonist and that they were trying to determine if the other fire had also been the result of arson.

In New York, Mickey Jelke, the margarine heir who had been convicted the second time, after his first conviction had been reversed on appeal, for inducing one woman into prostitution and attempting to do so with another woman, was sentenced this date to 2 to 3 years in prison. The sentence was less than the 3 to 6 years imposed after his first conviction, reversed on the basis that the trial judge, because of the salacious nature of the evidence, had not allowed the public or press in to hear the prosecution's case, denying the defendant his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial. The maximum term which could have been imposed was 40 years. Mr. Jelke could receive up to 3 to 4 months of good time credit for each year in prison and thus could be released on parole within 16 to 18 months. His attorney said that he would appeal on the basis of several errors committed during the trial.

On the editorial page, "The Bricker Brigade: A Party of One?" finds that the effort of Ohio Senator John W. Bricker to revive his proposed constitutional amendment to limit the treaty-making power of the President to prevent "advocates of world government" from trying to "repeal the Declaration of Independence", as he had indicated the previous day, appeared to be without much alliance in the Congress this time.

It finds it doubtful that the Congress would go through the kind of debate endured in 1953-54, when the Senator had sought to have both houses pass his amendment by two-thirds majorities and thus send it to the states for ratification. It had failed. It suggests that it would likely fail again, as now, the Senator did not have the type of support for it which he had in the previous Congress, when 61 Senators had joined him in sponsoring the proposed amendment. Many of those had dropped away from that support and others had only been halfhearted in their support to begin with, largely from pressure exerted by patriotic organizations back home, pressure which had since subsided.

This time, the Senator had introduced the measure alone. That had resulted in large part from the fact that in the 1954 midterm elections, at least four of the supporters of the amendment from the previous Congress had been replaced by liberals who wanted no part of the amendment. Those included North Carolina's Senator Kerr Scott, Oregon's Richard Neuberger, Michigan's Patrick McNamara and New Jersey's Clifford Case, all of whom, save the latter, were Democrats. In all, 13 of the cosigners of the bill in the prior Congress were no longer in the present Senate because of either death, defeat or retirement.

Meanwhile, the President had served notice at his press conference the previous day that he was as much against the amendment as he had been previously.

The proposed amendment was essentially unchanged, providing that no treaty or executive agreement would be effective as internal law except through legislation "which would be valid in the absence of treaty", effectively tying the President's hands unreasonably in the making of foreign policy and upsetting the traditional balance of powers.

It concludes that there was nothing in the history of the country which justified fears that the President, the Congress, and the courts could not be trusted and that it was no time to abandon sound, adequately safeguarded principles of government.

"Brakes on the Wheels of Progress" indicates that at a session of the General Assembly, lasting about two minutes the previous day, the State House Committee on Manufacturing and Labor had killed the 55-cent proposed state minimum wage bill, supported by Governor Luther Hodges.

It finds it to have been a shabby fate for legislation of such enormous importance to the state's economy. About 45,000 North Carolinians made less than the proposed minimum wage, according to a 1955 survey by the Department of Labor, one of the reasons the state had such a shameful position nationally in terms of per capita income, ranking 46th among the 48 states. Presently, the state had no minimum wage law to supplement the Federal minimum wage, which only covered jobs transacted in interstate commerce. Despite the proposed state law having exempted several categories of workers, it was nevertheless viewed with alarm by some businessmen.

It indicates that substandard wages meant substandard citizens, resulting in many tragic forms of social problems. Unfortunately, the emergence from the depression years of the 1930's had not resulted in voluntary raising of wages enough in the state to make wages competitive nationally. It urges that sooner or later, the Legislature would surely accord their duty and pass such legislation, that they would not maintain the brakes on North Carolina's economic and social progress forever.

"A Neighborhood to the Rescue" praises the attitude of the neighborhood of people who lived in the vicinity of St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Central Avenue, in doing something for the children of the area by establishing a neighborhood organization to erect a playground, from donations from people in the neighborhood, to be situated on land donated by the church. After the equipment would be purchased, a trained playground director would be hired. The playground would then be opened to everyone in the general public.

The piece indicates that there was much talk at present about juvenile delinquency and the need for public action to combat it, finds that youth problems were easier to prevent than cure, and that the neighborhood in question was doing the job by making young people feel that they were a living part of the community and not castaways.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Bing—Zing—Pip", indicates that Austrian born Rudolf Bing had been doing pretty well since he had settled in New York a few years earlier to live and run the Metropolitan Opera. He had shaken off some of the old traditions of the Met by hiring, for instance, Marian Anderson, the first black person to have a singing role with the Met. He had allowed Patrice Munsel to bump and grind and had brought theater people, such as Alfred Lunt and Margaret Webster, to put "a little zing" into the dramatics. He had also revised "that old vamp", Carmen.

Generally, he had been applauded for the changes but had been hamstrung by a lack of money. He had also encountered difficulties with individuals among the opera aficionados and with the law in Central Park. When baritone Robert Merrill had begun appearing in movies to the extent that it interfered with his opera commitments, Mr. Bing fired him, though later reinstating him. When Wagnerian soprano Helen Traubel gave in to her desire to sing "Ricochet Romance" in nightclubs, Mr. Bing let her resign.

In addition, when Pip, his beloved dachshund, got caught off its leash in Central Park a few years earlier, the Bings paid a fine. Recently, the dog had been caught again off its leash in the park and in talking about it afterward, Mr. Bing was regretful but steadfast in his principles, insisting that Pip was a good dog but he had broken the law and would have to pay the fine, adding, however, that he had guessed that he might have to take Pip to Europe to give him a chance to have some unrestricted exercise.

It finds, therefore, that the "revolutionary-disciplinary" Mr. Bing, for all of his success in America, sometimes looked wistfully toward Europe where opera singers stuck to opera and governments paid for the opera, and dachshunds could run free.

Drew Pearson indicates that it had become clear how Senator John W. Bricker had happened to introduce his proposed constitutional amendment to limit the treaty-making powers of the President, that it had originated with ducks. The Senator had a passion for duck-shooting and he disliked Federal game wardens who policed the duck marshes established by his friends along the shores of Lake Erie. The marshes had been developed at a cost of around $100,000 per marsh and Senator Bricker became angry when his friends from Cleveland and Toledo could not enjoy their duck hunting refuge without interference from Federal game wardens. But the wardens acted under a treaty between the U.S. and Canada regarding migratory birds, and it was that treaty which had caused Senator Bricker to become so fighting mad that he proposed his amendment, which had tied up the Senate in debate for substantial time during the prior Congress and would likely do so again during the current session.

Under the Constitution, a treaty superseded any state law, and so the treaty on migratory birds superseded any law of Ohio regarding duck hunting. The Senator had previously been Governor of Ohio and believed that his state had some rights regarding ducks. Thus, he wanted to restrict the treaty-making powers of the President and permit each of the 48 states to have different laws on duck hunting.

Recently, one of the Senator's friends from Toledo had been handed one of the stiffest penalties in duck hunting history by a Federal judge, who had fined the man $500 and sentenced him to six months in jail, suspended on condition that he complete two years of probation. In consequence, Senator Bricker had summoned the head of the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Department of Interior to his office and bawled him out recently. Previously, he had been successful in getting the prior head of that agency, a Democratic holdover from the Truman Administration, fired, but now believed that the Republican appointee was doing no better.

Meanwhile, the game warden who had been active in arresting the Senator's friends and business associates had been named "Man of the Year" by the Ohio Outdoor Writers Association. Thus faced with so much opposition, Senator Bricker had once again introduced his proposed amendment.

Walter Lippmann discusses the proposal of the prior Sunday by Communist Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, that China and the U.S. meet to negotiate the relaxation of tensions in the Formosa area, with the Premier having added that it would not affect in any degree the demand of the Chinese people for their "sovereign rights in liberating Taiwan."

Mr. Lippmann finds that statement very closely to have paralleled that of Secretary of State Dulles on March 15, when he had said that were there a renunciation of the use of force by the Communist Chinese, it would meet the immediate requirements of the situation and there would be no necessity for either Nationalist China or Communist China "to renounce what they might call their legal pretensions, their legal claims." The latter statement had been in response to a question at a press conference as to whether or not the Secretary agreed with the position enunciated a week earlier in Commons by then-Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden to the same effect.

Mr. Lippmann presumes that in the interim there had been much diplomatic activity involving Britain, Russia, India and Pakistan, in working toward effecting such a meeting. He presumes that Secretary Dulles had made his statement so that Britain and the other governments playing the role of intermediaries would have a proposal for the Communist Chinese. Presumably, those mediators had achieved their first success in Peiping sometime prior to the conference in Indonesia, as the Nationalist Chinese Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Wellington Koo, had spoken the night before the conference had begun, rejecting any sort of modus vivendi.

It was likely that Chou's acceptance of the formula proposed by Messrs. Eden and Dulles had been the basis for the visit by Mr. Dulles with the President in Augusta, Ga., just as Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford had canceled his trip to Europe so that he could rush off to Formosa with Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson.

Mr. Lippmann finds that the main novelty of Chou's statement at the Indonesian conference was that he had made it publicly, as, despite Communist propaganda, diplomatic contact with Chou had not been broken since U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold had visited him in Peiping. Foremost in those exploratory discussions had likely been the prospect of the two Chinese governments arranging to agree to renounce waging their claims by war, while not renouncing their rights generally. The choice of Chou to make the statement at the Indonesian conference was a favorable development, as it meant that under Prime Minister Eden's leadership, there had been reached a formula for diplomatic negotiation acceptable to the Communist Chinese and to the U.S., which had the approval of the uncommitted nations of Asia and Africa, the participants in the conference.

Those participants had been not only opposed to war by the Nationalists, backed by the U.S., in an effort to overthrow the Communist Chinese regime, but also, in no less degree, to Communist China's "liberation" of Formosa by force. They wanted first Mr. Eden, then Mr. Dulles, and finally Chou to be able to propose an arrangement which would avoid a war which could engulf the greater part of Asia.

Mr. Lippmann posits that if the State Department knew what it was doing and if the makers of U.S. policy could manage to collect themselves in one place long enough to act with deliberation, Chou's acceptance of the formula in the presence of the participants at the Asian-African conference would work as a public commitment not to use force in the Formosa Straits, at least until the diplomatic exchanges which had begun, could be carried further. He expresses the hope that the State Department would not go on "fumbling", as it had on Saturday morning after Chou's statement, and would not turn what could be a diplomatic success into a defeat. Since Chou had taken five weeks to respond to the earlier statement by Secretary Dulles, there had been no reason for a response from the U.S. within hours after receipt of the statement, as had occurred on Saturday. Mr. Lippmann questions whether they thought they were trying to make a deadline for the next edition of the newspapers or were conducting foreign policy. He ventures that it was also not necessary or desirable to jump to the conclusion that the next steps had to be concessions by Communist China for the U.S. to participate in a formal conference, indicating that the last thing desired would be a formal conference at the present time. Rather, what was desirable was just enough mutual concession to encourage the mediators to continue the exchanges of views, "and in the meantime without the beating of all the drums to bring about a dampening down of the sporadic hostilities which are now taking place in the Formosa area."

The Congressional Quarterly tells of the Eisenhower Administration having paid grants-in-aid to state and local governments at a faster pace than had the Truman Administration, reaching an all-time high of more than 3 billion dollars during fiscal year 1954, 38 percent higher than the annual average during fiscal years 1949 through 1952, the last four years of the Truman term.

In 1952, the Republicans had campaigned against New and Fair Deal centralization of government, but the trend had continued to be toward larger payments to aid state and local governments to perform services ranging from old age assistance to highway construction, with the increase in that category for fiscal 1954 having represented the eighth straight such increase.

Total grants, however, had declined during the Eisenhower Administration because another classification of grants, to individuals and groups within the states, had been reduced. Veterans' benefits under the G.I. Bill accounted for most of those individual grants, and eligibility for them had been expiring. Grants to individuals had dropped in fiscal 1954 by 55 percent below the 1949-52 average, to 1.3 billion dollars. That resulted in the total grants being 4.3 billion dollars, 15 percent below those for 1949-52, despite the 38 percent rise in grants to state and local governments.

Meanwhile, Federal tax collections continued to rise. In fiscal years 1949 to 1952, the Treasury had returned an average of 10 percent of its total tax collections directly to state and local governments and to individuals in the form of grants-in-aid, shared revenues, and loans, whereas in fiscal 1954, the return had been reduced to 6 percent.

Most Federal spending was on a national scale rather than state-by-state and benefits to taxpayers took the form other than grants.

Early in the Eisenhower Administration, the President had told Congress that in many cases, especially within the previous 20 years, the Federal Government had entered fields which "are the primary responsibilities of state and local governments", which had tended to "blur the responsibilities of local government" and had led to "duplication and waste." In consequence, the Commission on Intergovernmental relations was created by the President and was scheduled to report on its studies by the end of June.

Nevertheless, the President's desire for decentralization of government had not had a significant effect on the statistics. The five largest programs of fiscal year 1952 remained in that status in fiscal year 1954, all except one of those programs having grown even larger. Grants for old age assistance had risen from 800 million dollars in 1952 to 961 million in 1954. Highway construction had risen from 417 million to 537 million during the same period. Aid for dependent children had gone from 303 million to 365 million. Only veterans' readjustment benefits had declined, from 1.4 billion to 600 million.

In some areas, expansion reflected deliberate policy, with the Congress having established, at the request of the President, new grant programs, primarily in the field of health, with existing programs having been broadened in scope. Other increases reflected normal reaction to changing circumstances, rather than policy changes, such as the growth in population, the increase in the farm commodity stockpile such that more money was being spent for disposal of surpluses, and the increase in the number of automobiles leading to the need to remain ahead of highway obsolescence.

Grants-in-aid represented Federal payments to help operate programs at state and local levels and in most cases, the programs were administered by state and local agencies, which usually had to contribute money of their own to obtain the Federal aid, subject to standards prescribed by the Federal Government. Early Federal aid had been primarily for public education, highway construction and agricultural extension work. Ratification of the Federal income tax amendment in 1913 had stimulated those grants. The depression had brought large-scale expansion of Federal welfare aid as state treasuries floundered. Most grant programs were based on the assumption that certain functions of state and local government, such as education, highway construction and care for the aged, were vital to the national welfare. Thus, the Federal Government had to make sure that those functions were performed adequately, whether or not lower levels of government could afford the expense.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., responds to the editorial "Score Card", which briefly asserted that because the prior week the headlines had been shared by Dr. Jonas Salk and the proved effectiveness of the polio vaccine he had developed, and by the death of Dr. Albert Einstein, both of whom were lionized in the press and by the people, it had been a rough week for anti-Semites. He finds that the conclusion was harmless enough and no doubt contained some truth and realism, and so hopes that the editors would consider another parallel: that Louis Pasteur, Edward Jenner, Joseph Lister, Alexander Graham Bell, Samuel Morse and Luther Burbank had been great benefactors of humanity, all of whom having been gentiles, and had likewise been hailed worldwide for their accomplishments, that thus the work of those gentiles must have made it rough on the anti-gentiles of their day. He says that "The Jew" had no monopoly on genius or on being a benefactor to mankind and that "'minority-happy'" editors would better serve the causes of truth, justice and "racio-religious harmony" by not tossing around the words "anti-Semite" or "anti-Negro" any more than they would the rarely publicized, but no less pregnant words, "anti-gentile" or "anti-white". He finds that majorities were no more prone to being "anti-" than were minorities.

Well, you can be happy for the nonce, given the photograph and story on the front page showing the four-year old boy who had received the Salk vaccine in California only to have his arm become partially paralyzed, while others had contracted polio or other illnesses within a week of receiving the shot. You just can't trust those Jew boys. They are out to paralyze the right arms of all the schoolchildren, out of the paranoid belief that otherwise they would be giving Nazi salutes one day. But we know, Mr. Cherry, that everyone has two good arms, and we can use our left one. Nothing will stop us from our exercise of free speech! When, by the way, are you going to run for the presidency, as your fellow students in Chapel Hill six years ago had suggested? Gentiles must re-emerge to protect their lock on the presidency. Next thing you know, Senator Barry Goldwater will be running, probably with the hidden agenda to make Old Testament laws, as contained in the Book of Exodus, the law of the land.

A letter from Cyril Clemens, editor of the Mark Twain Journal in Kirkwood, Mo., states again, as he had several times earlier, that he was editing the anecdotes of his kinsman, Mark Twain, and would be happy to hear from readers who might have some anecdotes, jokes and stories concerning him.

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