The Charlotte News

Friday, May 13, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Vienna, Secretary of State Dulles had arrived to sign the Austrian treaty of independence during the weekend, after late the previous day, the Russians had accepted a compromise solution offered by the West regarding a key issue of economic concessions, clearing the way for the signing on Sunday, giving Austria its full freedom for the first time since 1938 at the point of Nazi annexation through the rigged plebiscite. Secretary Dulles said that Austrian independence had been a central goal of U.S. policy and that its achievement would be hailed by the American people who had "only admiration for the courage and steadfastness of the freedom-loving people of Austria". Negotiations between the ambassadors of the four postwar occupying powers had preceded for nine days the arrival of the four foreign ministers for the signing ceremony.

In Taipeh, it was reported by the Nationalist Chinese Air Force that their warplanes had attacked a flotilla of more than 20 armed, motorized junks this date in the first reported action in the Formosa Strait in a week, with the report indicating that the warplanes had destroyed one junk, heavily damaged another and inflicted light damage on several, at a location 35 miles south of the Matsu group of islands and 80 miles west of Formosa, the planes having attacked during the early morning in bad weather.

Surgeon General Leonard Scheele said this date before the House Banking Committee that he expected to release polio vaccine made by Parke-Davis Co. of Detroit "almost momentarily", as inspection by a group of scientists of the Salk vaccine manufactured at that company had been completed and he expected the release as soon as he returned to his office and reviewed the report. Release of that vaccine would enable the nationwide inoculation program for first and second-grade schoolchildren to resume. The next check would be on vaccine produced by Eli Lilly Co. of Indianapolis, among the five manufacturing firms whose plants were being examined, in the wake of 67 breakthrough cases of infection with polio after having received the vaccine. General Scheele stated that except for the vaccine produced by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif., which had been the source of the vaccine used in 55 of the breakthrough cases, with ten having received the Eli Lilly vaccine and two, vaccine made by Wyeth Laboratories of Marietta, Pa., the incidence of polio among those vaccinated had been about what would be normally expected, or even less. He expressed continued confidence that the vaccine was safe and effective.

In Washington, Army chief of staff General Matthew Ridgway, who had been critical of Administration decisions to reduce the ground forces of the Army, had asked for retirement on June 30, and would be succeeded by General Maxwell Taylor, whose nomination the President had forwarded this date to the Senate. The term of General Ridgway was to have run to August 15. He had reached the Army's mandatory retirement age of 60 the prior March 31, but the Army had retained him on active duty with the approval of the President. He had stated repeatedly that atomic and other new weaponry would require more, not fewer, ground forces because of the necessity for dispersal. General Taylor had commanded the Eighth Army in Korea during some of the bitterest fighting there and was presently commander-in-chief of the Far East command and of the U.N. command. His appointment as Army chief of staff would run for two years. General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, presently commanding general of the Army forces in the Far East and of the Eighth Army, would take over General Taylor's two commands in the Far East. General Eisenhower had written in his book, Crusade in Europe, that General Taylor had taken risks which were greater than he had asked of any other agent or emissary during the war. General Taylor had gone into Italy secretly, ahead of the invasion by American forces, to sound out Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio on a quick surrender, risking discovery and death in the process. General Taylor would become chairman of the Joint Chiefs in October, 1962, just prior to the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, after President Kennedy had relieved General Lemnitzer of that position which he had held for exactly two years, assigning him to be supreme commander of NATO in Europe.

In Chicago, Louis Wolfson's contingent had apparently won three of the nine places on the board of directors of Montgomery Ward, following tabulation of votes cast three weeks earlier, winning proxies for 1.8 million shares of stock in the company, while current management, led by chairman of the board Sewell Avery, had won something over four million shares. Mr. Wolfson had to have 30 percent of the total votes cast, plus 3 shares, to be able to have three directors on the board, and he had exceeded that number by about 45,000 proxies. But stockholders attending the annual meeting in person also cast votes for individual directors and those votes conceivably could provide a margin of difference between two and three seats on the board. The three directors would be Mr. Wolfson, Alexander Pittmaster III, a New York business consultant, and Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, a New York advertising consultant. The following day, the final vote of the stockholders present at the meeting would occur to determine whether there would definitely be three directors or only two for Mr. Wolfson. Mr. Avery, 81, had stepped aside as the chairman on Monday and was succeeded by John Barr, 47, who had worked for Ward's since 1932.

In Greenville, N.C., one of five rioting convicts at the Pitt County Prison Camp had been shot this date after they had locked themselves inside their cell block and thrown bottles at officers who had attempted to remove them by cutting the lock with acetylene torches. The superintendent said that he had shot a prisoner when he had started beating another prisoner over the head with a poker, indicating that the extent of the wounds of the shot man could not be determined because the prisoners were still locked inside the cell block. Prison guards had been reinforced by State Highway Patrolmen, deputies, Greenville police and firemen. The officers were armed with tear gas and fire hoses, and were standing by, awaiting the arrival of the director of State Prisons from Raleigh.

In Gaston, N.C., a woman who was seated quietly on her doorstep had been fatally injured the previous day by a flying piece of steel shot from a rotary lawnmower. The police chief said that the accident had occurred so quickly and quietly that neighbors had been unaware that anything had happened until a small child, who had been seated beside the woman, ran across a narrow street to inform the neighbor who had been mowing his lawn, who then took the woman to the hospital where an operation revealed a three-inch chunk of steel embedded in her brain. The man then went home and examined his mower, discovering that part of one of the blades had broken off.

In Raleigh, a State Senate committee voted unanimously to reject a measure to have legislative sessions every year instead of biennially. It provided a favorable report to another amendment which would have the biennial sessions begin in February instead of in January, to enable the Legislature to do a better job of estimating the state's revenues for budgetary purposes, as the sessions would then begin closer to the time of filing income tax returns in March and April. If the bill were passed by the full Senate and the House, the latter would require an amendment to the State Constitution which would have to be submitted to the voters in the next general election.

In Charlotte, the 1955 tax valuation was tabulated this date at $383,814,210, above the 359 million dollars used as the basis for the city's 1954-55 budget.

Also in Charlotte, a driving thunderstorm had brought high winds and near darkness to the city at noon this date, with winds registering up to 35 mph, causing storm drains to fill to overflowing within minutes, and reducing visibility to a minimum. After the rain started, the skies started to lighten and had not yet fallen, but might any minute.

In Long Beach, Calif., a worker at a Navy shipyard wanted a parakeet as part of a property settlement in a pre-divorce hearing with his wife, stating to the judge that he figured if he got the bird, which his wife loved, she would come back to him. But his wife said that while she loved Pretty Boy, if she went back to her husband for the sake of the bird, it would not be saying much for her. She was granted visitation rights with Pretty Boy and possession of it was awarded to her husband.

On the editorial page, "Adenauer: A Strong Pillar of Freedom" finds that in the wake of its destroyer, Hitler, Germany had produced a builder in Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who had during the week led West Germany to its return to sovereignty and entry into NATO partnership with the West. Mr. Adenauer had been a true friend of the free world, which owed him tribute for helping it to build a barrier, instead of a gateway, to aggression. It suggests that the reconstruction effort might not have come to fruition without Mr. Adenauer.

But he was 79 years old and would not be around much longer, with observers seeing no one of his stature to succeed him. West Germany was now again a major power, free to shape its own destiny. That meant it was also free to play East against West, and some of the enemies of the Chancellor were eager to do just that, a possibility which could cause great problems for European defense. Russia would tempt it with offers of unification with East Germany, and much would depend on Chancellor Adenauer's successor, whom it hopes would be as strong.

"Expanding Driver Education Rolls" indicates that the State Senate was preparing to consider a bill to permit those under age 16 to operate motor vehicles while enrolled in supervised driver training classes, a measure backed by the Mecklenburg delegation and already approved by the State House.

The bill would make it possible for driver training to be offered to more teenagers than ever before and so would be a significant contribution to highway safety in the state. It ventures that if youths were going to drive a car regularly at age 16, they should begin learning at age 15 through regular instruction courses in school, and so it hopes that the measure would be passed by the Senate, as it had been by the House.

"Just How Dangerous Is Security?" indicates that Dr. Franz Alexander of Chicago had ventured that man, by losing his carefree spirit in favor of "security", was revealing a troubled nature.

It says that it was not convinced, however, that the search for security was any more frenzied at present than it had been in earlier times. The charge had been made nevertheless that too much security was a bad thing, that people would become so coddled that they would lose their character and initiative.

Senator Sam J. Ervin had remarked in a Richmond address recently that "only the self-reliant soul, who spurns security for opportunity, is truly free." Others believed that security was making Americans soft, lazy and easy prey for the Soviets.

It ventures that, perhaps, they had forgotten that the search for security had started long earlier. The Germans, for instance, had translated the yearning into a national social security system dating back to Bismarck, and the Germans were still tough, vigorous and enterprising. New Zealand had created a nationwide social security system years earlier as well, and they had been even tougher than the Nazis during World War II, having a hand in pushing Rommel out of Egypt.

It recognizes that security became a false god when it represented a system of handouts for able-bodied people who ought be working, but it had never seen convincing evidence that the search for security weakened moral fiber. More than moral fiber was weakened when security was absent, as slums and poverty bred crime, disease and social decay.

It concludes that there was nothing noble about a soup kitchen, nor anything unhealthy about a serious interest in security.

"And Then She Was Three...." tells of a little girl who had grown from age one to age two, now to age three, "a magic word, a magic age. But not really much different. She is a little older, a little more knobby-kneed … but you're much older for watching."

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Toward Sanity in Men's Clothes", indicates that employers in medium-sized and small communities of Virginia had given their approval to open-neck, short-sleeve sport shirts, recalling the sweltering days of the prior summer, but that in the larger cities, where it got just as hot, the employers were less inclined to look favorably on such informal dress for males.

A majority of the employers had taken the position that an exposed head was not offensive, even when calling on customers, and rolled up sleeves on coatless male workers received approval from most of the businessmen surveyed. Bermuda walking shorts, however, were out, but it finds that it was all right since few men had any desire yet to wear them while at work. In other sections of the country it was taken for granted that men would dress, within reason, in keeping with the weather, and in Virginia, the feeling that comfortable attire was undignified for office workers was dissipating.

Business executives had expressed their preference concerning the dress of female workers also, but it has no comment on that point, as it had enough burden in recruiting members for the Association for Sanity in Men's Attire, without getting into a hassle with women.

Drew Pearson indicates that few members of Congress fit the stereotype of the reputed Southern Senator better than Kerr Scott of North Carolina, who appeared, with his shaggy eyebrows and cigar in hand, to have stepped out of a political cartoon. But appearances were deceiving, as major changes were underway in the South at present, both economically and socially, changes which were reflected in the persons representing the South in Congress. Senator Scott said that he was the first North Carolina Senator elected since the Civil War who had not been a member of the Democratic "Old Guard", but could not explain why he had been elected. He had recalled an incident shortly after he had first been elected as State commissioner of agriculture in 1936, in which he had entered a service station during the winter when his car had broken down, and after a bit, a man had asked him what his name was, to which he responded, at which point the man said that he had voted for him the last time "just for the heck of it". He believed that it was for that same reason that a number of people had voted for him in the Senate race.

The Senator had studied agriculture in college, and served briefly in the Army during World War I and then had begun a career as an agricultural official in state and Federal Government. He had been elected Governor in 1948 and had accumulated a good record for getting things done, pushing port development, building 50 million dollars worth of schools, installing 4,489 new hospital beds and paving 14,000 miles of roadway. He said that he had not wanted Democratic or Republican roads or "anti-Negro" roads, only roads placed where they would serve the folks. He credited his success to a nonpartisan approach.

Much of his time at present was taken up by tobacco problems, as North Carolina was the largest producer of cigarette leaf. Presently he was concerned about the scare over cigarettes causing lung cancer and the effect it could have on the state's economy if cigarette consumption continued to decline. He said that research in the past had dealt with the taste, aroma, yield and burning qualities of tobacco, but now medical researchers, including some hired by the cigarette manufacturers, were probing the effects of the chemical substances known to be present in tobacco leaves. The Senator believed that agricultural researchers had to keep abreast of medical researchers in the fight to solve the lung cancer mystery.

Regarding tariff laws, he was not so sure that he could support the idea of free world trade, as his state was presently a major textile producer, with more spindles than Massachusetts. Many of the Senator's constituents worried about low-priced foreign textiles entering competition with North Carolina wool, cotton and synthetics. He still believed in low tariffs but also believed there had to be protection for the state's industry.

Mr. Pearson indicates that Senator Scott kept a North Carolina plug of tobacco in his desk for visitors and regretted the disappearance of the old brass spittoons from Congress. He recalled a hearing a few years earlier on tobacco, when he had been testifying before the late North Carolina Congressman Robert Doughton, then-chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, at which point he had said to Mr. Doughton that they were talking about tobacco without a spittoon in the place, at which point bells had rung and people shouted, and a few minutes later, porters came running from everywhere, bringing with them spittoons. He told Mr. Pearson that they then "had a real spittin' time, too."

Doris Fleeson tells of Capitol veterans explaining to "Roosevelt-vintage" friends that they now understood what it had been like in Congress during the era of President Calvin Coolidge during the mid to late Twenties—dull. (And the reportage on the subject has not been any more exciting for the most part, 67 years later.)

She finds that they were describing a situation which had not been anticipated when the Democrats had regained control of Congress the previous January, but that the issues on which the Democrats had counted had not come to fruition or achieved popular appeal. There had been no spectacular investigations, and a change of pace was unlikely before the end of the session a couple of months hence. A few controversies were forthcoming, including a minimum wage bill and an effort to free natural gas producers from Federal regulation, but the Bricker amendment would get nowhere and the President's highway bill would be abandoned in favor of old and tested methods. The bill to reestablish fixed farm price supports, which had passed the House the prior week, would get no serious attention in the Senate. All of that was quite suitable to the White House, as the President was a small government, states' rights person. Unlike his immediate predecessors, he was not trying to push the Congressional leadership. Nor would he engage in the type of battles for his own proposals to which Washington had become accustomed. His committees on various problems, such as transportation, fuels and the interrelationship between state and Federal government, continued to issue reports which were then forwarded to Congress, but "the rest is silence."

The Hoover Commission reports on streamlining of the Government were virtually dead, with no fight being made for their enactment. Influential members of Congress believed that much of what that Commission had recommended was unrealistic and the failure of important Republicans to push the recommendations gave support to that view.

Democrats were divided on whether the present lethargy was necessary and desirable, with its defenders arguing that the present breathing spell was wise, to enable the party to catch up during the 1956 session, to enable that which would then take place to be fresh in the minds of the voters at the time of the presidential election. Plans were being made, for instance, for a Democratic tax bill the following year which would be tailored to the small taxpayer. Some among that group believed that the President would have difficulty with his foreign policy and that the presidential campaign would rest on the results he would obtain in that field, thus believing there was no sense in trying to stir the waters at present.

But the Democrats who believed that their party was compromising with principle stated that they were sure that the grassroots agreed with them that the country was not as well off as Washington believed or that the President was not as popular as the polls suggested. They wanted to charge that there had been no leadership during the Eisenhower Administration. That group targeted Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, as he had been largely responsible for the compromising which had been done with the Administration. Senator Johnson's friends answered that since he had only a one-vote majority with which to work, he had done what he could.

Ms. Fleeson notes that to add to the silence, Senator McCarthy had all but disappeared from the Senate floor, having declared that reports that he was sick had been only "wishful thinking" on the part of his enemies.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that the President had received stronger support from Republicans than from Democrats on showdown votes in the Congress, but that even the Democrats had voted with the President more often than not. On foreign policy roll calls, however, the Democrats had helped the President more than had Republicans. The President had won most of the test votes, usually with Democrats supplying the margin of victory.

Based on the 40 roll call votes which had placed the President's program and leadership in issue, Republicans, on average, had voted to uphold the President 64 percent of the time, whereas in 1954 they had so voted 74 percent of the time. Democrats supported the President 57 percent of the time, contrasted with 39 percent in 1954. Eighteen of the 40 votes had related to foreign policy, where Democrats had voted with the President 69 percent of the time, while Republicans had so voted 52 percent of the time. House Republicans had opposed the President more often than they had supported him on foreign policy.

On all roll calls testing support, Senate Republicans had supported the President 74 percent of the time, while House Republicans had given him support 61 percent of the time. Democrats in the Senate had provided support 60 percent of the time, while those in the House had voted with the President 56 percent of the time.

And it goes on providing that statistical support of the President on contested issues, as between the parties, concluding that many of the issues testing support of the President had been minor, with six having been on more important issues, the President winning five of those, his only defeat having been the House rejection of a motion to strike the $20 income tax cut from a bill to extend the corporate and excise tax rates for an additional year from their scheduled expiration date of April 30. The five major victories for the President had been the rejection of the individual tax cut in the Senate, which had been championed by the Democrats, passage of the Colorado River storage project bill, adoption of the resolution authorizing use of armed force to defend Formosa, rejection of a reservation to that resolution, and rejection of a House motion to water down the reciprocal trade bill. He had obtained more support from the Republicans than from the Democrats on most of the major roll call votes.

A letter writer from Louisville, Ky., finds that "premeditated mental guidance is used individually and in assembly to disintegrate personal thoughts with mental enslavement to accomplish temporary goals, disregarding the results of mental function to the individual citizen, which has reached in mental illness an epidemic stage." He concludes: "When an individual or individual's freedom of thought is used to satisfy the emotions, which includes sadistic desires, of the masses, it is not a democratic psychological program in any conception, much less American."

He does not ever get down to cases, provides no example of what he was talking about. We suppose the reader was supposed implicitly to understand. But one person's "thought control" might prove to be another's form of liberation of the mind. Take rock 'n' roll, for instance...

A letter writer wonders how Tenth District Democrats who voted for Congressman Charles R. Jonas felt now, after he was simply warming his seat in the House, stripped of all of his important committee assignments, without prestige or influence. He says that the matter had been brought to his attention by an item out of Washington the previous week which said that North Carolina Congressmen had voted 11 to 1 for an important farm bill, with all six members of the South Carolina delegation voting for it as well, with only Congressman Jonas voting against it. He finds that it showed that the people of the district had no representation in Congress and would not have until a Democrat were returned to represent the district.

A letter writer from Monroe indicates having read in the newspaper that the book, A Man Called Peter, was one of the best sellers on the market and wants to know how she could obtain a copy of the book, having seen the movie and been moved very deeply by it. She adds that The News was the most wonderful newspaper "there ever was" and that she and her family enjoyed it very much.

The editors respond that the book, which was rising again on the bestseller lists, could be obtained from any bookstore, and that if the store did not have a copy in stock, they could order it directly from the publisher, McGraw-Hill.

Imagine that, obtaining a book from a bookstore. She might also join a book club and perhaps obtain a copy of it for free as a special introductory offer. Or, she might go to the public library and check it out for free. But maybe those alternatives did not occur of the moment to the editors. She also might search around the streets of Charlotte and run across a copy which had been tossed aside inadvertently or deliberately onto the sidewalk by a wandering pedestrian.

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Is Uttered A Warning About The Use of Moth-Eaten Humor:

"If you'd get along with folks
Do not tell them ancient jokes."

There once was a farmer,
Who bought a pig in a poke.
His daughter was a charmer,
And they awoke in Nantucket.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.