The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 6, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from London that Sir Anthony Eden, who had once walked out of the Government rather than appease Continental dictators, had become the new Prime Minister this date, the 42nd man to hold the office, and the youngest, at age 57, in three decades. He was also the first divorced man in history to be named the Prime Minister. The BBC had announced the change, as all of the London newspapers were on strike. During the traditional offer of the position by Queen Elizabeth, Mr. Eden had spent 40 minutes interviewing in the Queen's private apartments, appearing at ease and confident, as a crowd of 3,000 persons, many being unaware because of the newspaper strike of what was occurring, watched his black limousine depart. A small crowd shouted, "Good luck to you, Sir Anthony!"

During World War I, on the Somme front, Mr. Eden had been a captain in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, opposing German troops among whom was courier Adolf Hitler. Years later, during the course of a conversation in Berlin between Mr. Eden and Hitler, they had discovered that they had served in the same sector. Later, in London, a friend had asked Mr. Eden whether it was true that he was opposite Hitler during the previous war, and after he had replied in the affirmative, the friend said that he ought to be taken from the room and shot because he had missed him.

Clarissa Spencer-Churchill, 34, was the wife of the new Prime Minister and the niece of former Prime Minister Churchill. As Lady Eden, she had been studying for her role under Lady Churchill, for whom she had high regard. Britons generally agreed that the wife of a Prime Minister could do her job best by being occasionally seen and never heard. Lady Eden would fit the mold as she was naturally shy. Prior to World War II, when she had known Mr. Eden only as a colleague of her uncle, she was one of Britain's bright and politically conscious young women, debating political issues and caring little for social activities. Her mother had died in 1941 and her father, called "the Churchill nobody knew", had died in 1945, lacking wealth. Clarissa had inherited the equivalent of $560 per year and a small country cottage.

In Taipeh, Formosa, the Chinese Nationalist Defense Ministry announced this date that Communist Chinese artillery on Amoy had fired 24 shells this date at the Nationalist-held Quemoy Island, four miles from the mainland, causing no damage or casualties, the report not indicating whether the Nationalists had returned fire.

In New York, four gunmen robbed a Queens bank this date of $350,000, believed to be the largest cash amount ever taken from a bank. One of the robbers carried a Tommy gun and the four men herded 11 employees of the Chase Manhattan Bank's Woodside branch into the rear of the bank and then made a clean getaway. The previous record haul had been $190,000 in cash, taken in 1953 from a Long Island bank. Seven men had robbed a bank in Lincoln, Neb., in 1930, taking a total of $2,268,700 in assets, but only $25,000 of which had been in cash.

Almost at the same time of the Queens robbery, three masked and armed men had entered a jewelry store in neighboring Manhattan, and stole $7,500 to $10,000 worth of diamonds.

Around Sherman, Tex., heavy winds, marble-sized hail and rain battered the area in north Texas early this date and left at least 15 injured in Sherman. The Dallas Weather Bureau issued a severe weather warning for a wide area of Texas and Oklahoma. The National Weather Bureau warned residents of six states, from Oklahoma to Georgia, to be on the alert for "destructive storms".

In Swan Quarter, N.C., firefighters this date patrolled backfire lines ringing a giant forest fire which had burned over 250,000 acres. Scattered light showers and overcast skies, along with favorable wind conditions, aided the firefighters in bringing the blaze under control along the firebreak established at N.C. Highway 94. More than 200 firefighters continued battling the blaze, which was said to be the largest forest fire ever to occur in the state and possibly within the entire South. In Raleigh, the assistant State forester said that there was no question that the fire had not been deliberately set, and investigators were seeking to track down the guilty parties.

In Raleigh, State Representative Gordon Maddrey of Hertford County told the State House this date that he intended to introduce a bill the next day to terminate all teacher contracts at the close of the current school year, the bill being in response to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, decided the prior May 17, as it was believed that many black teachers in the state could not continue in their positions if the Supreme Court ordered immediate desegregation in its implementing decision, due later in the spring. Teachers presently had their contracts continued automatically by the school district which employed them unless they were notified prior to the end of the school year that they would not be reemployed. It had been indicated that redistricting of some school districts might take place as a result of the Brown decision. Mr. Maddrey said that his bill required urgent action as the school year was drawing to a close and teachers and principals had to be notified that their contracts were not continuing.

Dick Young of The News indicates that the relocation of an airport road and a survey for the widening and improvement of Crescent Avenue Extension were immediate projects of the State Highway Commission, the airport road improvement to be based on cooperation with the Charlotte City Council in providing the right-of-way.

On the editorial page, "County Water Authority Would Create More Problems Than It Would Solve" indicates that the proposed bill before the Legislature to enable counties to create water authorities would not compel any county to do so. But what concerned many residents of Charlotte who opposed an independent water authority was the fact that it would apply to Mecklenburg County should local governing bodies desire it.

It explains in some depth its position that each county ought hold its own vote of the people to determine whether there would be a local water authority, preventing local governing bodies from ramrodding the idea through without the consent of the governed. It finds that city-county water authorities were needed in certain portions of the state with emergency drought conditions and Mecklenburg's legislative delegation should not block their efforts to obtain relief. But, it asserts, a local option provision would be a wise precautionary device.

"Churchill & History: One on the Isle" indicates that when a journalist had asked Mr. Churchill if he had it all to do over, would he change anything, he had replied that he wished he had played the black instead of the red at Cannes and Monte Carlo.

It suggests that as a mischievous phrase-maker, Mr. Churchill would even beat Groucho Marx to the verbal draw. In his youth he had been known by his instructors as "the naughtiest little boy in the whole world." They had attempted to keep him quiet by racing him around full-tilt during recesses. And until the previous day, he had still been running, noisily. But he had stopped the previous day, making his retirement official.

He had first come to public attention as a victim of an ambush during the Boer War at the turn-of-the-century, and it had been written that he had never forgotten the lesson. He had spent almost all of his latter years warning the free world of ambushes and leading the rescue parties.

During World War II, he had pulled the human race tightly together, and his words, still fresh in memory, were part of the personal history of all free men.

While a battalion commander during World War I, he had bought up a French town's entire seasonal production of peach and apricot brandy one day. As a politician, he had referred to opponent Clement Attlee as, "That sheep in sheep's clothing." As a playful wag who had dared to match insults with George Bernard Shaw, he had replied to Mr. Shaw's invitation to come to his play and bring a friend, "if you have a friend", by saying, "I'm busy for the opening but I'll come the second night, if there is a second night."

He shouldered responsibility with sober relish, having written long earlier that, "It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic." It finds that he had made more than news, that he had made history, and it hopes that he would still be around for many more years as a "grand and beloved critic," as there was room for greatness in the field of criticism also.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Agriculture Department had quietly stopped its research regarding homemaking, meaning an end to bulletins and pamphlets on consumer buying, home management, interior decorating, kitchen aids, home economics and related subjects. The service to housewives would be transferred to research for business firms, with the funds and personnel of the Department assigned to food and nutrition research useful for marketing and processing for meatpackers, canners and food companies. The change was an outgrowth of the President's 1952 campaign speech against a Government pamphlet, "tools for food preparation and dishwashing", which he held up as a symbol of shameful waste of taxpayer funds.

But actually, he had not read the pamphlet and had not realized that it was loaded with helpful hints to housewives and had been one of the most popular pamphlets the Government issued. After he came into office, the Department continued to publish the pamphlet, with more than 22,000 copies having been mailed to housewives during the previous two years. The column had pointed out that the famous symbol of waste was still being printed in greater quantities than ever before, and when the news got to the White House, it so infuriated the President that he ordered it stopped, still without ever having read the pamphlet.

To please the President, the Agriculture Department went even further and began cutting down on all public research aimed at helping housewives, such that the whole home economics program had been eliminated.

Democratic Congressman Thomas Ashley of Toledo had taken Ohio Senator John W. Bricker to task for being too harsh on Ohio's duck population, which had caused Mike Di Salle, the former Mayor of Toledo, to comment that Mr. Ashley's criticism had probably won the freshman Congressman the vote of every duck in Ohio. Mr. Di Salle added that the trouble, however, was that on election day, all of Ohio's ducks were in Canada.

Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in one of his last major speeches before retiring the previous day, addressed Commons, outlining the challenge of the age, excerpts from which appear on the page. In urging Britain to embark on development of its own hydrogen bomb, he contrasts the atomic fission bomb with the immensely more powerful fusion bomb, which he regards as having revolutionized the foundation of human affairs and placed mankind "in a situation both measureless and laden with doom."

He indicates that the best defense would be bona fide disarmament all around, but that sentiment could not obscure facts regarding the gap between the Soviet Government and the NATO powers, insofar as the Soviets refusing to accept any practical system of international inspection. A second difficulty was that while the U.S. had overwhelming mastery in nuclear weapons, the Soviets and their satellites had immense superiority in conventional forces, those arms and forces with which World War II had been fought, but with great improvement on those weapons in the intervening years. The problem then was to devise a balanced system of disarmament which would at no point allow one of the participants to have an advantage which could endanger the security of the others.

Without such a trustworthy universal agreement on disarmament, with an effective system of inspection in place, the only sane policy for the free world was to have defense through deterrence, which required the most up-to-date nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them.

He indicates that there was truth mingled with fiction regarding the hydrogen bomb, but that there had to be considered the consequences of fallout from its use and testing. Those who might escape the direct effects of the explosion could be confronted with poisoning or starvation or both as an indirect effect.

He finds that a curious paradox had emerged, whereby after a certain point had been passed, "the worst things get the better. The broad effect of the latest developments is to spread almost indefinitely and at least to a vast extent the area of mortal danger. This should certainly increase the deterrent upon Soviet Russia by putting her enormous spaces and scattered population on an equality, or near equality, of vulnerability with our small, densely-populated islands and with Western Europe."

He says that he had hoped for a long time for a top-level conference where those matters could be broached plainly and bluntly from one friendly visitor to the conference to another.

He asserts that the Soviets would be ill-advised to embark on any major aggression within the ensuing three or four years, but at the end of that time, the weapons he had described would be available to both sides and it would be folly to suppose that they would not be used, thus requiring precautionary preparations based on that assumption. By that time, the Soviets would likely have the means of delivering hydrogen bombs not only against the United Kingdom but also against North American targets. A major war in the future would thus differ from anything known in the past. Though world war might be prevented by the deterrent power of nuclear weapons, the Communists might resort to military action in furtherance of their policy of infiltration and encroachment in many parts of the world. They might engage in limited wars on the Korean model, with limited objectives, and the West had to play its part in those wars if called upon by the U.N.

He indicates that there were those who said that Britain did not need the hydrogen bomb or a fleet of bombers for its delivery as long as they could depend on protection by the U.S., and that the role of Britain should be criticism of any unwise policy into which the U.S. might drift. He indicates that personally, he did not feel that Britain should have much influence over U.S. policy or actions, wise or unwise, while Britain remained largely dependent on U.S. power, as at present. Thus, he recommends substantial deterrent power of their own, while never allowing the growing sense of unity and brotherhood between the U.S. and Britain, or throughout the English-speaking world, to be injured or retarded.

"To conclude … there is time and hope if we combine patience and courage. All deterrents will improve and gain authority during the next ten years. By that time the deterrent may well reach its acme and reap its final reward. The day may dawn when fair play, love of one's fellow man, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth serene and triumphant from the hideous epic in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile never flinch, never weary, never despair!"

Robert C. Ruark, in London, indicates that every time he picked up a newspaper, difficult because of the newspaper strike, and saw the doomful stories of the world, he walked into the streets of London and looked in the shop windows and was able to calm his nerves again. Twenty years earlier, he had first come to London as a kid off a merchant ship, and had fallen in love with it, that love never having diminished since. He finds it essentially a man's town, as Paris was a woman's town. It was a roast beef town, with no nonsense about it, having withstood every effort to destroy it and seemingly being unruffled by its past agonies.

The shops sold things which women bought, but the prime effort was mostly for men. There was no high-pressure selling and the clerk was delighted to have the customer browse, taking great pride in their interest. He tells of browsing tobacco shops until he was bankrupt, buying walking sticks which he did not dare carry, staggering into bookshops and reeling out laden with books he probably would never read, but smelling so good, he could not resist them. It was difficult not to buy knives and razors or anything else made of steel in Sheffield. He also could not resist the pipes, hats and boots, as London leather smelled differently from other leather. And he goes on to explain how he enjoyed shopping in London.

He says that Britons were the least hysterical race of people he had ever seen, and he had been there at the height of the blitz. He supposes that they made up for the serenity with their abnormal excitement over cricket, lawn tennis and boat races, but reminds himself that Americans went crazy over baseball and McCarthy hearings.

He indicates that he had his first foreign love affair in London, had loved her then and loved her now, was happy to see Paris because it meant that he could be in London within two hours if he hurried.

He explains that he had to quit writing the piece or he would be too late to buy an "elephant gun, a carving set, a complete Dickens, a tea service, a Jaguar, a Comet airplane, and a snuff box", as well as other trinkets on which his heart was set. He assures it would be a credit purchase because London shops never dunned their gentlemen.

A letter writer, a mother of three small children, complains about the method of reporting on report cards of a child's progress. She thinks that more frequent reports, one every six weeks, would be helpful, that the first report they currently received was not until latter January. She urges return to the A,B,C grading system, expresses sympathy for the overburdened teachers but believes they ought be able to grade their children once every six weeks, favors omitting some of the unnecessary meetings, records and non-essentials which burdened the teacher, to provide them with more time for teaching and grading of fundamental skills.

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Further Urging Is Given Those Uncertain About Reducing Their Weight:

"If you needs go on a diet,
Brother, you had better try it."

But if you needs your fat and food,
Don't look in the mirror while nude.

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