The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 12, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Vienna that the Big Four had reached agreement this date on an Austrian independence treaty, as reported by informed Western sources prior to the issuance of an official communiqué by the representatives. The foreign ministers of the U.S., Britain, France and Russia would fly to Vienna during the weekend to sign a treaty which the Austrians had sought since the end of the war, ending the occupation of the country. It would make Austria a free and sovereign nation for the first time since the German Anschluss had resulted in its annexation in 1938. Some 70,000 troops of Russia and the Big Three Western powers would then depart. The agreement had been reached after nine days of difficult negotiations, which, earlier this date, had been feared would break down after the ambassadors of the four powers had remained deadlocked for three days on a Western demand that the Russians put into the treaty economic concessions granted the Austrians during bilateral talks between the Soviets and the Austrian Chancellor the prior month in Moscow. The informants said, however, that the Russians had finally acquiesced to that demand, paving the way for the signing. The sources indicated that the ambassadors had decided to make Soviet concessions an annex to the treaty, the concessions consisting of return of the Zisterdorf oilfields and the Danube Shipping Co. to Austria. British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan was scheduled to depart for Vienna the following day, and Secretary of State Dulles was expected to do likewise, while French Foreign Minister Antoine Pinay had already planned to leave the following day. Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov would arrive in Vienna from the conference between the Soviets and their allies taking place in Warsaw. The U.S. Ambassador to Austria, Llewellyn Thompson, had declared, as he left the Allied Control Mission Building in Vienna, that they were "over the hump" and that the state treaty was practically concluded, that he was very satisfied with the results. The Austrian Foreign Minister, Leopold Figl, stated that the treaty would be signed in the ensuing few days.

John Hightower, Associated Press correspondent, reports that the President might find himself involved in harder bargaining than he appeared to anticipate if and when he conferred with Russian Premier Nikolai Bulganin in the context of a Big Four meeting of the heads of state, being actively now discussed for some time during the summer. Mr. Bulganin might press a whole set of basic demands outlined in the new program for disarmament and ending the cold war, which Moscow had made public on the previous Tuesday night. Senator Walter George of Georgia, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, cautioned that it was not wise to approach such a meeting with a defeatist attitude and that the Administration ought take the strong initiative. The Senator had counseled such a meeting of the heads of state when the President had previously been cool to the idea. The Senator's comments were obviously prompted by the President's statement at his press conference the previous day that his willingness to meet with the other Big Four heads of state was based, in part, on "a vague feeling some good might come out of such a conference." Senator George had said that one thing which disturbed him was whether the U.S. would move with any real conviction to take the initiative, rather than just acquiescing, that there appeared to him to be a lack of enthusiasm and positive attitude on the part of the U.S. toward holding such a top-level conference, and that if there were a strong initiative taken, it might do some good, that it was the only way to achieve a positive result. The President had made it clear the previous day that he would participate if the other heads of state thought it would be useful but that there would be no decisions reached, only an agenda set, under which the foreign ministers would subsequently undertake to seek detailed agreements. Mr. Hightower indicates that Mr. Bulganin would not necessarily take the same attitude, that the record of wartime conferences indicated that the Russians went to such meetings to obtain something concrete. Experts in Washington believed that just as the President might urge Mr. Bulganin to use his influence to obtain a cease-fire in the Formosa area, Premier Bulganin might press the President to reconsider plans for the arming of West Germany under NATO. The Russians had suggested in their new disarmament proposal that various steps could be taken through the U.N. to achieve proper inspection of the bans on production of atomic and other weapons of mass destruction, which their program had proposed.

In Warsaw, Communist China, through its Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Peng Teh-huai, pledged this date that it would fight alongside the Soviet Union and its allies should war start in Europe. Peng also stated that his Government stood firmly for peaceful coexistence and was ready to negotiate on any international differences, including regarding Formosa. He stated further that the current balance of forces was in favor of the "camp of peace and socialism." The statements occurred during the conference to establish an Eastern defense organization on par with NATO.

At Yucca Flat, Nev., the Atomic Energy Commission this date again postponed its final nuclear detonation in the 1955 series of tests because of unfavorable wind conditions, originally scheduled for the early morning hours. It was the second consecutive day that the shot had been postponed because of wind. The shot would take place from atop a 500-foot tower at the Yucca Flat test site.

Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee had told the Senate the previous day that he had sent identical messages to Southern Bell Telephone Co. officials and to the officials of the Communications Workers of America, urging arbitration of the strike which had begun across nine Southeastern states on March 14. He said that the president of the CWA had replied that the union would agree to submit the unsettled questions to impartial arbitrators recommended by the Federal Mediation Service. The Senator said that he had not yet heard from telephone company officials. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana supported Senator Kefauver's position. The President, at his press conference the previous day, had also suggested that the telephone strike issues be submitted to arbitration. A vice-president of Southern Bell had stated this date that the company did not believe arbitration of the dispute would be in the best interest of the public, as it had made a "liberal proposal providing wage increases and numerous other contract improvements" to the union, and that collective bargaining was being transacted as directed by the Federal Mediation Service, which the company believed was the proper way to reach a settlement. The company contended that the principal issue in the strike was the union's refusal to agree to a no-strike clause in the new contract, while the union contended that the no-strike clause was a minor issue and that, primarily, the strike regarded a dispute over wages, working conditions and an agreement for full arbitration.

In Pensacola, Fla., a striking telephone worker had been shot and wounded the previous day during a disturbance in front of the telephone exchange, and a few hours later, a non-striking telephone employee had been beaten up by three men in front of a residence to which he had been sent to remove a telephone, with neither man being seriously injured.

In London, striking tugmen along the Mersey River waterfront voted to return to work this date, ending a seven-day strike which had paralyzed the port of Liverpool. Negotiations regarding their demands for higher pay and shorter hours would continue.

Also in London, evangelist Billy Graham this date worried over the 100,000 seats of Wembley Stadium, before which he would address a crowd on Saturday night, beginning his seven-day religious revival in that locale, where the 1948 Olympic games had taken place. He told a news conference this date that he was not sure that enough Londoners would care to hear him and his message to warrant use of such a large venue. He said that the choice of Wembley had been an act of faith on the part of London churchmen who had invited him, but that he was not sure that he would have had that much faith had the decision been his alone. Rev. Graham had filled Wembley the one time he had preached there the previous year. He had completed his evangelistic crusade in Glasgow, and following the week-long crusade in London, would depart for Paris, where he would hold a crusade between June 5 and 9. About 150 British newspapermen and photographers had attended this date's press conference, at which Mr. Graham had dodged a number of questions, such as being asked whether members of the British royal family had been invited to hear him, to which he said he did not know, that such matters were handled by the London arrangements committee, and whether a Communist could be a Christian, indicating that such a question had never been posed to him previously and that the answer would require deep study and prayer. He was also asked whether he would accept an invitation which Hungarian churchmen were considering extending to him to preach behind the Iron Curtain, and replied that he would like to preach behind the Iron Curtain, but that the arrangements would have to be "suitable".

In Washington, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren this date granted bail of $35,000 to Junius Scales, chairman of the Communist Party for the Carolinas district, who had been convicted the prior month in Federal District Court in Greensboro of violating the Smith Act for being a member of an organization which he knew taught and advocated overthrow of the Government by force or violence. The Chief Justice decided to grant bail pending the appeal of the conviction, after the Justice Department had conceded that the issues involved were substantial and had not been passed on previously by the Supreme Court or any of the Circuit Courts of Appeal. Previously, the District Court Judge, at the point of sentencing of Mr. Scales to six years in prison, had denied the request for bail pending appeal. As indicated, the conviction would be reversed by the Supreme Court in 1957 on the basis of a prior Supreme Court ruling regarding the necessity of turning over to the defendant reports and statements made to the Government by paid informants. After that reversal, Mr. Scales would be tried again and again found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison, after which his conviction would be affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1961, but after serving about 15 months of his sentence, would have it commuted in December, 1962 by President Kennedy to time served.

In Raleigh, study of the controversial problem of re-apportioning seats in the Legislature had been approved this date by a State Senate committee, giving a favorable report to a resolution which called for creation of a commission to study redistricting of the state's Senatorial districts and reallocation of House seats commensurate with population changes. Since the 1950 census, the Legislature had not reapportioned its membership, as required by the State Constitution every ten years.

Also in Raleigh, a bill to exempt cotton from property taxes while in transit in interstate commerce had won the approval of a Senate Judiciary Committee this date, by a small margin.

In Gibsonville, N.C., a fire destroyed a restaurant and damaged a grocery and beer tavern, causing approximately $50,000 worth of damage, the blaze having erupted on a greased griddle in the restaurant. Firemen said that there was no fire extinguisher in the establishment and that the blaze had gotten beyond control of the employees by the time they had returned with an extinguisher from an establishment across the street.

In Charlotte, resumption of the Salk vaccine shots in the county, scheduled for the following Monday, had been postponed for a week, after the chairman of the City Health Advisory Committee had talked with officials of the State Board of Health in Raleigh. All of the Salk vaccine allocated for the county had been consumed and the delay in resuming the program was based on a lack of promised delivery of additional vaccine, after the nationwide program for first and second-grade children had been suspended while the Public Health Service checked and rechecked the safety of the vaccine and its manufacturers.

In Detroit, Dr. Alice Palmer, dermatology instructor at Wayne University Medical College, had told an alumni group that 9.5 percent of American women suffered from alopecia or baldness, indicating that sometimes women lost their hair in patches when they thought they were going to lose their husbands. The doctor said that 43 percent of men suffered from the condition.

Well, there is always a silver lining to every cloud, in that the women suffering from the condition can audition for roles in movies as head of the WAC's. We stress, incidentally, that we make this comment in May, 2022, and that this is the first time the subject of female baldness, or the word "alopecia", has been referenced on either the front page or editorial page of The News in the 18 years of daily newsprint we have thus far reviewed. Stranger things have happened here.....

On the editorial page, "Take Top City Jobs out of Politics" indicates that new City Council member Martha Evans, the previous day, had objected to the reappointment of the City tax collector, John Mills, because she contended that he had put politics into the revenue department.

It indicates that Mr. Mills had done a creditable job in an extremely difficult field, that regardless of his political alliances, he deserved the six to one vote of confidence which the Council had given him the previous day.

Nevertheless, there was a legitimate question about leaving the selection of top jobs in municipal government completely to the Council, which was susceptible to political pressures. That was particularly true of department heads who performed specialized administrative duties under the direct supervision of the city manager. It also includes the City Recorder's Court judgeship, to which, the previous day, Basil Boyd, the only member of the Council who had not sought re-election, was appointed. It also included the judge pro tem of Recorder's Court, to which position had been appointed Wallace Osborne, a young lawyer who had served as campaign manager for five of the incumbents to the Council, who had run on a single ticket. The city manager could appoint only half of his department heads, with the remainder, because of the peculiarities of the City Charter, appointed by the Council.

The Council was the policy-making body for the city and, it ventures, should not be directly involved in administrative details it was not qualified to handle. It should also not be involved in appointing personnel for the Recorder's Court and for the Civil Service Board, because of its being subject to political pressures. Instead, the resident judge of the Superior Court, or some other agency free from political influence, should make those appointments.

It suggests that Mrs. Evans could perform a valuable service by convincing her colleagues that appropriate legislation should be proposed by the Mecklenburg delegation to the General Assembly to change the method of appointments.

"Hope of Peace: Up to the Summit" indicates that, happily, the people of the nation and most of the world had spurned the leadership of those whose faith had flickered, and Americans, in their high hopes, had rejected the faithless theory of preventive war. The taxpayers of the nation had contributed great sums to restore the economies of war-battered allies and had supported the U.N., in which persons of all nations still met and conferred regarding the cause of peace.

Now, the President was ready to meet with the heads of state of the other Big Four nations to determine whether there could be an easing of the tensions between East and West.

It indicates that while such a meeting might not produce a peace and that even louder rumblings of war could follow it, as Thailand's Prime Minister Pibulsongram had counseled that history had shown that conferences preceded every great war, the world at present was subject to new forces which compressed the impact of history which showed that there was no escape from war. The idea of preventing it, however, had to be pursued, that only in the hope of peace could peace be found.

It ventures that the President would carry to the conference table the hopes and the trust of the American people, even if not all of the politicians of his own party. He had demonstrated that he was a man of peace, even though some of his advisers were reckless advocates for action which would inexorably wind up in war. It hopes that he would continue to reject the advice of such people as Senate Minority Leader William Knowland, Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford, and the Senator McCarthy types.

The U.S. had recently found, from the Indonesian conference of the African and Asian nations, that there was an array of Far Eastern nations ready to split with Communist China. West Germany had been freed as an independent and sovereign nation, and had taken the side of freedom by joining NATO and the Western European Union. NATO was putting more bite into the belt of steel around the European boundaries of Russia and its satellites. Those factors, it finds, added up to a new strength for the West and new awareness in the world of the dangers of Communism, enabling the President to talk about peace from a position of strength.

It concludes that perhaps in the rarefied air of the meeting of the Big Four heads of state, there would be a way "to keep their blackjacks in their pockets."

"Faithful Servant—A Job Well Done" laments the death of William Wall Whiddit, retired organist of the St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Charlotte, who had died past the age of 80 while at his home in St. Petersburg, Fla. He had served as the church organist in Charlotte for 18 years and had been a true Christian servant, leading young boys in the boys' choir, and had been prominent in Rotarian activities as the official musician for the local Rotary Club. He had been beloved by all who knew him and had left a permanent mark in the hearts and minds of his many friends.

A piece from the Shelby Daily Star, titled "House-Husband", indicates that a shrewd housewife of its acquaintance had come up with a novel idea, that the term "housewife" made just as much sense as referring to the husband as a house-husband. For the chief habitat of the wife was no longer any more necessarily the home than it was that of the husband in the push-button era of literary societies, bridge clubs, circles and leagues of women voters.

Husbands were learning how to do things themselves around the house, and once he undertook to do so, it was a simple procedure for the wife to inveigle a husband into all kinds of domestic tasks, chores which the push-buttons had not yet conquered. It finds therefore that the do-it-yourself and stay-at-home craze was rapidly bringing closer the day when men could be called house-husbands.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Democratic governors, when they had met in Washington the previous week, had agreed to fix blame on the President personally for the mistakes of his Administration, signaling an end to the President's long political honeymoon, even though the Democrats in Congress remained nervous about openly criticizing him. The governors would start taking pot shots at the President, agreeing not to allow him to hide any longer behind his subordinates when unpopular decisions were made. The agreement had taken place while Texas Governor Allan Shivers was present, the Governor having supported General Eisenhower during the 1952 campaign. No punches were pulled because of his presence and he took it without batting an eye. The only remark he had made was that the Administration was most vulnerable on the farm issue. DNC chairman Paul Butler had reviewed with the governors the Democratic gains since the 1952 election and had promised, based on voting trends, that the Democrats could win the 1956 election by winning only one of four key states out of New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois or California.

If and when the Salk vaccine inoculations would be resumed, the need for Federal supervision and control would be all the more urgent—as discussed further below by Walter Lippmann. Surgeon General Leonard Scheele, head of the Public Health Service, and Dr. Chester Keefer, assistant to HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby, had been sent by Secretary Hobby to testify before the House Banking and Currency Committee, with Dr. Scheele, who had been previously reported as favoring Federal control of the vaccine, having told the Committee, because of his loyalty to Mrs. Hobby, that doctors did not need policemen standing by their sides. At the same time, however, he also told of the limited production of the vaccine, and reminded of the newness of the drug and the need for strict supervision of its manufacture. When Congressman Henry Reuss of Wisconsin pointed out that there were 90 million Americans under age 20 who were susceptible to polio and therefore desirous of the vaccine, the doctor corrected him by saying that there were 104 million such people. When asked by the Congressman whether there would be 69 million cc's of the vaccine produced by August 1, he replied that the situation had changed because of the halt in production of the vaccine until they could evaluate the standards and safety tests for the production. When the Congressman asked whether, in light of the figures, there would be pressures and problems in seeing to it that the vaccine got to the children in the priority age groups and not to adults, he did not wait on an answer, but asked the Surgeon General to provide the Committee a breakdown of what the 48 states had done to prevent the diversion of the vaccine from the high priority categories of children. The Surgeon General responded that they could not give such a breakdown until the following week, because the picture was changing every day, that he believed, however, that many states had not taken such action. The Congressman asked whether Mrs. Hobby could ensure herself that the problem would be adequately handled in the 48 states without finding out what was being done in the 48 states.

Walter Lippmann discusses the Salk polio vaccine problems which had arisen, after the recommendation by Surgeon General Scheele that the inoculation program be temporarily halted until investigation could take place of the few breakthrough cases, primarily located in the West from vaccine manufactured by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif. He indicates that since the rollout the prior April 12 of the vaccine, promised to be safe and effective, the publicity initially attendant the introduction had misled the public into believing that the vaccine was a full solution to the disease of polio. Yet, the fine print of the report which had been compiled since the experimental studies of the prior summer had indicated reservations, and the scientists had not yet fully determined whether a longer period of study was necessary prior to the full-scale production of the vaccine and distribution to the nation's children, those most in danger of contracting the disease.

He faults the HEW and its Secretary, Mrs. Hobby, for not preventing the theatrical exploitation of the vaccine the previous month in that manner. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which sponsored the experiments and the development of the vaccine, had to raise funds from voluntary contributions, and therefore helped to promote the extraordinary expectations from the initial introduction of the vaccine. The Federal Government should have stepped in to apprise the public of the limitations much earlier than during the previous couple of weeks since the first breakthrough cases had been publicized. He urges that such Federal participation and direction of the program should have begun as soon as enough was known of the previous year's test to cause the manufacturing firms to begin developing the vaccine for mass inoculation.

He counsels that the principles of voluntary cooperation and free enterprise, the rule in society, could not always be applicable at all times under all circumstances, that they had to be applied with good sense when conditions made them applicable and not when conditions counseled to the contrary, such as in the instant case. There was a political question involved in whether to rely on free competition and voluntary cooperation or to assume central governmental direction and control. The vaccine, because of the great demand for it in the upcoming polio season during the summer, was bound to be in short supply at least for the current season and its proper use touched the vital interests of the entire nation. He concludes that there should have been, therefore, no further doubt that the public authorities were in control.

Robert C. Ruark, in Madrid, tells of the head of New York State Conservation having started a program to make the fish learn to swim without dying in place, and also having to reteach the artificially raised pheasants how to recognize a hawk. He had said that the eight million trout he raised for release had become so soft from the easy living in hatchery waters that they had become decadent, would flop around in the hatchery under abnormally pampered circumstances, such that when they were released into natural waters, there was not enough oxygen for them and they did not know how to catch bugs or frog larvae, thus died, having a survival rate of at best about 60 percent. He had encountered the same trouble with artificially raised pheasants which were to be released into the wild after becoming accustomed to pampered life. They did not know where to look for food and water or how to hide under bushes.

So, the head of the Conservation Department had obtained an appropriation to toughen up the trout and pheasants to the exigencies of modern living. He intended to use wild birds to teach the hatchlings how to survive in the wild.

Mr. Ruark says that he did not believe he would be successful, as the U.S. had sought to train those abroad to the same effect, as with the French, and that they did not seem to want to learn about "hawks and cover". He concludes that one could not supervise and coach intelligence, whether working with a pheasant or a man, a fish or an ally, that intelligence, and the instinct for survival, could not be bought, that it was painfully acquired and exercised only after bitter experience.

And World War II was not bitter enough experience for those in Europe?

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