The Charlotte News
Monday, May 16, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Vienna that the Austrian independence treaty, signed the previous day by the Big Four occupying powers since the end of World War II, had demonstrated, according to Austrian Chancellor Julius Raab this date, that world peace could be achieved by negotiation. He said: "Freedom for Austria was of the greatest importance and joy for Austria," and that it indicated that pending world problems could be solved or at least that the powers could sit at the same table. He regarded the fact as a lessening of the Cold War tension and a step toward world peace. The flags of the Big Four powers were lowered and only Austria's flag remained. The Chancellor stated that the Big Four powers had made no commitment as to when they would withdraw their 70,000 occupation troops, which was not required to be accomplished by the treaty until 90 days after all five of the governments, including that of Austria, had ratified the treaty. He said, however, that the armies were beginning their preparations to depart and that some installations might be turned back to Austria sooner than the expiration of the allotted time. Austrian police reported that Soviet troops had already withdrawn from some villages within the Russian zone. It was reported that Secretary of State Dulles had sent cables from Vienna to former Secretaries of State George Marshall and Dean Acheson, thanking them for their efforts in concluding the treaty in earlier negotiations for it during the Truman Administration. Jubilant Austrians celebrated until dawn this date their independence from an occupying power for the first time in 17 years, since the Nazis had annexed the country in 1938 through a rigged plebiscite. There was an undercurrent of uneasiness regarding the country's economic future, as it was feared that the heavy reparations payments to Russia might upset the economic stability attained with U.S. aid during the ten years of Big Four occupation. There was also the realization that a series of economic crises could drive the country, pledged to neutrality, into Soviet hands. But such disturbing thoughts and a drizzling rain had done little to dampen the celebration.
Key members of the House Merchant Marine Committee, chaired by Congressman Herbert Bonner of North Carolina, this date began a drive to construct a second atomic merchant ship, in addition to the one already planned by the President, which was to sail around the world as an exhibit for peaceful use of atomic energy. Mr. Bonner described that latter proposal as an "international sideshow, carnival or Mississippi River showboat," saying that the Committee was more interested in an experimental ship which would help the Merchant Marine develop atomic vessels which would be economically feasible and actually carry freight. He said the ship which would be proposed would require a completely different type of atomic reactor from that proposed by the President, and said that he was backed by two Republicans on the Committee. The director of the reactor division of the Atomic Energy Commission had described to the Committee the prospects for developing atomic power plants for merchant ships, indicating that the plant to be used on the ship proposed by the President would be almost the same as that already developed for use in the submarine U.S.S. Nautilus.
The Eisenhower Administration this date proposed a 28 million dollar Federal fund to help the states provide the Salk polio vaccine to children of low income families, one of 11 recommendations submitted by HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby to the President, each of which had received his approval. The program would become effective after the completion of the free immunization program taking place with first and second-graders across the country, conducted by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The Federal fund would cover immunization for all Americans through age 19. The program also proposed an additional two million dollars for extra inspectors and technicians within the Public Health Service to ensure maximum precautions in continued testing of the vaccine for safety and potency. The proposals stopped short of Government allocation of the scarce vaccine, as some had demanded in Congress, with HEW indicating that the most effective and equitable distribution would be accomplished through voluntary cooperation of all of the private companies concerned, that no government distribution could be mobilized quickly enough to be effective during a brief period of shortage. The previous day, the Public Health Service had approved all supplies manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co. of Indianapolis, raising to about 1.4 million shots of the vaccine cleared following a safety recheck, with the Parke-Davis vaccine having been cleared on Friday. A spokesman for Lilly said that several million more doses of the vaccine were nearing completion but would not be ready for shipment until around June 1 because of necessary testing. But vaccine which had already been shipped would now be released in 16 states.
In Charlotte, with the clearance in Washington the previous day of the vaccine manufactured by Lilly, the City-County health officer, Dr. M. B. Bethel, stated that if the cleared vaccine were received during the week, vaccination of the first and second graders in the city and county would be resumed the following Monday. Your monkey kidney is coming again. This is how a whole generation of children were indoctrinated by the Government to believe in Darwinian evolution, through them monkey shots, not noticing that the monkey characteristics were slowly being insinuated via the serum, making them believe that their ancestors were monkeys, explaining the sudden and dramatic rise in popularity of the Devil's music in the culture and even worldwide. When did that begin? In 1955, Pilgrim. End of story.
In Atlanta, both sides in the 63-day old Southern Bell Telephone Co. strike had kept in touch with each other this date through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and meetings were subject to the mediator's call, with the next anticipated for the following day, with both the company and union expressing the hope that an agreement might be in sight. Negotiating teams had spent the weekend studying proposals and counter-proposals in what was described as the most optimistic atmosphere since the start of the strike on March 14. Forms of vandalism and sabotage had been at a record minimum during the weekend for the duration of the strike. Only sporadic cable cuttings had been reported in Georgia, Louisiana and Kentucky.
In London, the Daily Express accused evangelist Billy Graham this date of crudeness and bigotry in his new London crusade, stating, "He mauls Christians and non-Christians alike." The reporter, who had covered most of his earlier meetings in London, said that it was a different Billy Graham they were seeing this time. Other London newspapers declared that the evangelist, who had stirred London with his Bible-waving fervor the previous year, was not packing in the people the way he had done in 1954. He opened his one-week crusade in London on the prior Saturday night with a rally at Wembley Stadium, accommodating 80,000 or more persons, but with only 50,000 persons having attended, though as many as had appeared in Harringay Arena during his crusade of the previous year. It was reported also, however, that the response of the crowd had been one of the most spectacular ever seen at a Graham meeting, with between 4,000 and 5,000 persons making "decisions for Christ". The previous day, Rev. Graham had preached to a rally of automobile workers outside the giant Ford Motor Co. plant at suburban Dagenham, with less than 5,000 persons having shown up, when 10,000 had been expected, though rain may have deterred some from coming out. A reporter for the Daily Herald said that it must have been the smallest organized meeting which Dr. Graham had addressed since his arrival in the United Kingdom, having previously conducted a six-week crusade in Scotland. The reporter also found the crowd "strangely apathetic", having become enlivened only once, when the evangelist mentioned Fords. God, as everyone knows, drives a Ford.
In Raleigh, the General Assembly, beginning its 20th week of the 1955 biennial session, might reach agreement on a finance bill during the week and clear the way for adjournment early the following week. Let us hope so.
Also in Raleigh, the preliminary hearing in the murder case against a 21-year old man, who had graduated with an anthropology degree at the age of 19 from the University of Chicago and was engaged there in graduate work, began this date. On the prior Friday afternoon, a woman, who had been shopping in downtown Raleigh, had been fatally shot from a hotel window of a room which subsequent investigation showed had been occupied by the defendant, who had left behind a bullet hole in the screen and cotton wadding used for clearing guns. He had been arrested on Friday evening in Chapel Hill, explaining to police that his gun had accidentally discharged while he was playing with it, denying that he had been aware that the shot had exited the window and struck the woman on the sidewalk. He had checked out of the room about ten minutes after the shooting. His attorney had announced before the hearing that he would seek a dismissal of the murder charge on the basis that the shooting was accidental. He described the murder charge as "ridiculous", explaining that the gun was thought to be unloaded but apparently had one round in the chamber, of which the defendant had been unaware. The defendant's parents, his father being a noted anthropologist at Harvard University and his mother, a lecturer in sociology at Harvard, had arrived in Raleigh on Saturday, along with his fiancée, also a graduate student at the University of Chicago, to whom he was scheduled to be married in June.
Donald MacDonald of The News indicates that a 20-year old male bagboy at a local grocery store, who had been educated through the ninth grade, had been arrested the previous night, admitting that he had started three church fires during the previous two weeks because "whiskey was talking to me and told me to do it". He said that when he began drinking, "the old devil gets the best of me." He said that he had consumed both legal and illegal alcohol. He confessed that he had set fire to pages from a Bible at the church which he and his grandmother regularly attended. He was charged with three felony counts of arson, punishable by a prison sentence of between two and 40 years, and would receive a preliminary hearing the following morning in City Recorder's Court. He had a prior record of larceny, assault and public drunkenness.
A new column for teenagers would start this date on page 4B of the newspaper, written by Dorothy Ricker, discussing questions troubling boys and girls who lived in the area. She is much too permissive. Were we answering the two letters of this date, we would say to the first one: "Dear Little Miss Hot-to-Trot: You had better stay out of those cars with those older boys until you are at least 23, unless you want an unexpected delivery of the mail." To the second inquirer: "Dear Little Sir Loin of the Hor-Moans: Stay at home with your parents and don't go out late at night. Stop your gambling, stop your rambling, watch 'Father Knows Best' with your ma or the Nelsons with your pa or baby sister, lest you wind up in prison by the time you are 17, probably for car theft to impress your date. No respectable girl would want to go out with a little pimple-faced cretin like you, anyway. She will be dating older men of respectability, of which you have achieved obviously none or your parents would have given you permission to date without having to ask like a groveling little dog, promising 'responsibility', and all you have is a little push scooter. You'll wind up in the pen, doing five to ten."
And while about it, we have to question what idiot allowed the printing in the newspaper of the little bit of advice under "Mother's Helper", in the wake of numerous reports from across the country in that time regarding children becoming trapped while playing inside abandoned or inadequately attended freezers and refrigerators and then suffocating. In light of that fact and the inevitable curiosity sans sufficient experiential or inferential awareness of accompanying danger shown usually by those under about age four or five, was it wise to counsel mothers to "save ... steps"—probably because of her consumption of little yellow pills—by encouraging their toddlers to access the non-safety latched refrigerators of 1955 to obtain a ready-poured cup of milk, about four years before some manufacturer finally developed, pursuant to Federal mandate enacted in 1956 and becoming effective the day before Halloween in 1958, the bright idea of installing magnetic catches on refrigerator and freezer doors rather than the old secure latches? "I'll just crawl up right in here and close the door and fool mommy by drinking my milk inside here where it's nice and cool on this hot summer day. She likes my jokes."
On the editorial page, "Whatever Became of Dixie?" indicates that the late James Street's last literary efforts, a light-hearted survey of life in the South around 1954, had stated that "a band of Spanish transgressors, heroic but greedy, had started the South 441 years" earlier while seeking the fantasy of the mythical Fountain of Youth which would allow them to live forever, and Mr. Street had found it astounding that many Northerners believed the South had not changed since that time, and that many Southerners wished that it had not.
Mr. Street posited that the South had many things, moonlight or moonshine, Tobacco Road or tobacco factories, Texas Cadillacs or ox carts, Uncle Remus or George Washington Carver, Justice Hugo Black of Alabama or Senator Claghorn of radio comedy, hydrogen plants or hot air, RFD or TVA, hospitality or hostility, violence or tranquility, Miami or mud, Li'l Abner, Prince Valiant or Pogo. He believed, however, that it was national nonsense to accent any one of those things and say that it was "the South", as it was not true what they said about the region and probably never would be.
It indicates that the history of the South had been a history of change and that no one had been able to keep up with things well enough to provide a portrait which gave more than incidental details, and now, the South was changing faster than ever before. There had been amazing population spurts since World War II, and with new people had come a new regional personality, which was likely to alter the patterns of economic, political and social attitudes sharply in the coming years.
The pace of that change had been chronicled by William D. Poe, associate editor of The Progressive Farmer, predicting that "an era of unparalleled progress" would occur during the ensuing 20 years. He had based the prediction on a study of the facts, such as that the population of 16 Southern states had increased from 41 million in 1940 to 48 million by mid-1954. North Carolina had reported a 16.2 percent gain in its white population and a 10.7 percent increase in the black population. The South as a whole had increased by 16.5 percent in the white population, compared to a 13.4 percent increase for the rest of the nation. The South had gained 19.5 percent during the decade between 1940 and 1950 in the rate of births over deaths, compared to a 11.4 percent increase for the rest of the nation. The South had increased by 36.7 percent in its urban population during that decade, while the remainder of the nation had increased by only 19.5 percent.
The number of Southern farms had decreased but the cash farm income had increased from 2.5 billion dollars in 1940 to 8.4 billion a decade later. Ownership of tractors had increased by 241 percent in the region during that same period.
During the decade, the South had begun balancing agriculture with industry on a major scale, in 1951, the region having spent two billion dollars for new plants and equipment, compared to 1.7 billion in the heavily industrialized Middle Atlantic states. By 1951, the South had 3 million employees of industry, whereas the Middle Atlantic states had 4 million and New England had 1.5 million. In the same year, value added to raw materials by manufacture in the South had reached 18 billion dollars, compared to 26 billion for the Middle Atlantic states and 8.5 billion for New England.
It finds that the steady rise in population in the South would continue into the future and per capita income would undoubtedly rise as the new industrial South found its rightful place in the nation. There would be significant gains in such fields as forest products and chemicals, and the South would lose its inferiority complex. Technological and social changes would soften some of the region's major prejudices and Southern "shintoism" would begin to disappear as "'the great unwashed'" would rise to power. The Southern accent, "honeychile division", would flee to the hills as Yankees came southward with their sharp consonants and brisk vowel sounds.
It predicts that in another 50 years, there would probably not be anything left of the South of that "old magnolias-jes'-drippin'-with-molasses", other than the "bourbon and branch water," concluding that "certain things die hard."
Maybe that was in fact the case by the year 2000, but during the past 20 years or so, the region, fueled by reactionary politics of the most extreme type, even if on the fringes, and extreme positions on social issues, denying modern science and technology in the process, has, alas, sped backward in time, at least in part, while another part tries valiantly to continue to move forward, dragged down heavily, however, by its slothful baggage, which is becoming heavier by the day, especially as it gains more allies in that drag across the nation.
The most evident distinguishing factor which occurred at around the turn of the century was the advent of fast internet service, expanding the horizons of intercommunication, with the same drastic impact on cultural identity which had occurred with the advent of, first, the telephone, then radio, and finally television, in the latter Nineteenth through the first half of the Twentieth Century, enabling intercommunication to surpass, perhaps, the abilities of some of the slower learners to keep pace with progress of the mind, resulting in stultification and reactionary rejection of much of modernity, retreating into a dim past formed of an amalgam of childhood scenes out of television, movies, and homespun "history", little of which had ever actually obtained in reality, until that melange has formed into a belief pattern which thinks that such a never-neverland actually did exist, that time when America was supposedly greater than...
Again, the retreat into that nonexistent place, characterized by obscurantism and rejection of rational thought, is by no means limited to the South and, of course, was present in the society, in one degree or another, long before the year 2000. But it does seem to have captured the imagination of more Southerners than those of other regions, and appears to be gaining increasing traction in the age of the internet, permitting instant intercommunication between total strangers in a way which has not previously been true of prior ages, either by letter, telephone, the printing press, radio, television, or other forms of media. While informed discussion of topical matter can increase the wits and sharpen the focus on issues of various types, uninformed casual discussion and argument, interspersed by personal insult, does little but increase divisions and leave all parties to the conversation worse off than they were when it started, even if they believe that they have now found ostensibly empowering allies in their misinformed gestault, the recent phenomenon of Q-anon being only one such example.
"Find Him, Hold Him, Figure His Tax" indicates that the State Senate Finance Committee had passed a bill to apply the state's 8.5 percent sales tax on legal alcohol, as well as a 10 percent tax on illegal alcohol. But the tax collectors wondered how they would enforce it.
It pictures a Raleigh tax agent looking into the dual nostrils of the shoulder cannon of cartoon character Snuffy and humbly asking, "May I inspect your books, sir?" It trusts that the Revenue Department would search diligently for a means to collect the tax bills as enacted, but suggests that even if there was no money in it, it might be good for some laughs.
Harry Gabbett, writing in the Washington Post, in a piece titled, "Should the President Tee Off?" indicates that the Boston Evening Record had stated the previous day, from a report off its front page of May 19, 1899, regarding President William McKinley, that it was all right for the President to play golf provided he did not believe it detracted from the dignity of the office. The United States Golf Association had been organized only four years earlier and President McKinley had few means of finding out how the electorate might regard the chief executive playing golf around a close-clipped pasture in Hot Springs, Virginia. The Record had taken a poll of how the people felt about the matter, in light of the Attorney General, John Griggs, and Treasury Secretary, Lyman Gage, both unquestioned men of quality, having already become addicted to golf.
Richard Saltonstall, father of Massachusetts Senator Leverett Saltonstall, was quoted to the effect that he saw nothing "undignified" in the President "taking needed recreation", adding that "he could not choose a finer game." The Mayor of Boston, Josiah Quincy, however, thought that the President should not "make an exhibition of himself for the gratification of the curious." He thought, on the other hand, that if the President could undertake the game in a place where the public was not admitted, there was nothing undignified about it. The speaker of the Massachusetts Assembly, who was a candidate for lieutenant governor, had said that if the President wanted his advice on the subject, he would consider it and let him know when the President asked him for it, but did not want to express an opinion in advance.
Dispatches in the Washington Post of that time indicated that President McKinley had spent 12 days at Hot Springs, going outdoors only for occasional walks around the countryside and appearing to have benefited from his holiday, physically, spiritually, and mentally, despite the golfing controversy which had threatened to wreck his Administration's chances of carrying Boston and its environs in the following election.
Drew Pearson again regards his interview with Governor Averell Harriman of New York, indicating that he had invited the Republican Speaker of the New York Assembly, Ossie Heck, to the Governor's mansion for a social visit shortly after he had begun his term in January. Mr. Heck had issued one of the most effective pieces of Republican campaign propaganda against Mr. Harriman during the closing days of the campaign and had almost defeated him, but, nevertheless, the Governor extended the invitation, with Mr. Heck telling the Governor that it was the first time in many years as Speaker that he had been invited to the Governor's mansion for other than a business conference. Governor Harriman's predecessor, Thomas Dewey, had called the Speaker and other Republican leaders on Sunday nights and given them orders, but there was little consultation and no entertainment provided at the Governor's mansion during the 12 years of Governor Dewey's term. Governor Harriman had changed that routine and had invited other Republican leaders to lunch or dinner as well.
The Governor walked his dog downtown in Albany, usually walking to work, something which Governor Dewey had not done, despite being much younger than Governor Harriman, 63. Mr. Pearson indicates that life had been as stiff and formal during the Dewey term in office "as the bristles on the Governor's mustache." Gradually, even the Republican legislators, who were in the majority in both houses of the Legislature, had come to like the unorthodox approach of Governor Harriman. Both the legislators and the Governor had been tough on each other, but the legislators had, nevertheless, come to respect the Governor because of his sincerity. Mr. Pearson indicates that one could not help but respect and like someone so dedicated to working for the state, with Mr. Harriman having indicated that he believed it was the duty of men with money to work at the problem of government, something which the Republican legislators believed that the Governor truly meant.
Mr. Pearson indicates that there had been few governors of New York in recent years who had not become candidates for the presidency, including Democrats Al Smith, in 1928, Governor Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, and Mr. Dewey, in 1944 and 1948. Thus, every political prognosticator in the country had been asking whether Governor Harriman would be the Democratic nominee in 1956, something which Mr. Pearson had also addressed to him, receiving the reply that his only political ambitions were to do such a job as Governor that the people would re-elect him in 1958. Mr. Pearson had privately ascertained that the Governor would not be a candidate if his old friend, Adlai Stevenson, wished to run for the nomination again in 1956. The Governor had a talk with Mr. Stevenson about a month earlier, however, in which he warned him to make up his mind soon and not leave the Democratic Party up in the air until the last minute. He indicates that if Mr. Stevenson decided not to run, it would be certain that Governor Harriman, who was not ashamed to stand by the New Deal which had first sponsored him, would be a potent candidate for the nomination.
Walter Lippmann tells of the Soviets, on the same day the prior week when the West was issuing its invitation for a conference of the heads of state, having issued a series of proposals, in the form of a proposed U.N. resolution, for peace and the reduction of arms. The nearly simultaneous publication of those documents demonstrated the insistent popular demand that war must be avoided in the age of nuclear weapons.
On May 11, 1953, Prime Minister Winston Churchill had been the first public figure to realize the consequences of the military revolution, at that time calling for a conference "at the highest level". A few months afterward, the President had realized what had happened and made a speech on October 19, 1954, summing up his conclusions in a sentence which Mr. Lippmann suggests as one for which he would always be remembered: "Since the advent of nuclear weapons, it seems clear that there is no longer any alternative to peace." He asserts that in recent times, the view had taken hold of the masses and all governments were now responding to it.
The popular demand, most specific in Europe, for a summit meeting was an expression of the feeling that nuclear warfare was intolerable. There was a feeling worldwide that the question of whether those issues could be settled only with nuclear weapons could only be resolved by the highest authorities of the governments of the greatest powers in the world. While diplomats and foreign ministers tended to take the view that peace had to be built gradually, step-by-step, the popular view was that some foundation had to be established which would reduce radically the danger of war. As long as the danger remained as high as it was at present, every effort at negotiation would be regarded as appeasement and every concession as a surrender. The popularity of negotiation through a summit conference derived from the belief that Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin and President Eisenhower might do something for peace if meeting face-to-face, which Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov and Secretary of State Dulles could not.
The Soviet document released the prior Wednesday was a compilation of several things, involving trading points and propaganda, and "the kitchen stove". Mr. Lippmann believes that it contained an indication, however, of the type of East-West bargain which the Kremlin desired. In Section 3 of the proposed U.N. resolution, the Soviets stated that "except for strictly limited contingents of troops left temporarily on the territory of Germany pending the conclusion of an agreement on their full withdrawal", there should be "the immediate withdrawal by the four powers … from the territory of Germany to their national frontiers." Mr. Lippmann finds that the words appeared to mean that the Soviets proposed a withdrawal of the Red Army, not merely across the Oder-Neisse Line into Poland, but back into the Soviet Union, provided that U.S. forces were withdrawn from the continent of Europe.
Section 4 of the proposal stated the Soviet desire for "the dismantling of military bases on foreign territories." He interprets it not to mean the destruction of the airbases in Europe but rather the transfer of those bases from the U.S. Air Force to the nations on the continent in which the bases were located. Judging by a recent speech by Marshal Zhukov, the Russians were most interested in that U.S. withdrawal and were willing to withdraw the Red Army from Germany and from the satellite nations in exchange for it.
Mr. Lippmann urges that the U.S. should not jump to the conclusion, however, that it was the only thing on which the Russians would agree, that it represented, he believes, merely an outline of the propositions on which the Soviets would try to negotiate at the summit conference. Those whose opinions he had found to be the most discerning and reliable believed that at such a conference, the subject would be the withdrawal of the Red Army and the U.S. Air Force from their most advanced positions. That would not have been negotiable as long as the withdrawal of U.S. forces meant leaving behind a military vacuum, but if the national forces of the European continent were deemed capable of managing and maintaining those advanced bases, then it might become a negotiable proposition.
He ventures that the matter still had to be approached with great deliberation. The country had not been stampeded into war despite provocation abroad and incitement at home, and it should not be stampeded into an illusion that because negotiations might now be possible, everything was copacetic.
The Congressional Quarterly indicates that Congress had approved 13.7 percent of the President's legislative program for 1955 and that another 44.3 percent had progressed partially. Congress had approved 25 of the President's 183 legislative requests and rejected only one, with 12 having passed one house and another 12 awaiting floor action after approval by a committee. Committee hearings had been held on another 52 proposals. Eight proposals had suffered setbacks but had remained alive. The remaining 73 legislative requests had not yet received any action in Congress, despite bills having been introduced to implement most of them.
The percentage of approval of the President's program was deceptively low as Congress usually completed most of its work during the last weeks before adjournment of the session, while some of the program would await the second session in 1956. By comparison to the first three months of 1954, only 2.3 percent of the President's program had been approved, but by the end of the year, Congress had approved 64.7 percent of the program.
It notes that the Quarterly tabulated only specific legislative proposals by the President and omitted proposals by subordinates, and when Congress modified a proposal of the President, that modification was weighed to determine whether on balance it was close enough to the original proposal to count as favorable action.
It indicates that President Truman, during his first six years in office, had received approval from Congress on only 42.9 percent of his requests and in 1952, that percentage had fallen to 34.9 percent, whereas President Eisenhower had gotten 65.9 percent of his program passed in his first two years in office.
During the present year, there was no comparable distraction to that of 1954, with the Army-McCarthy hearings having been ongoing during the spring. But Democrats now controlled both houses of Congress and were using their power to sift through the President's proposals and could unite to reject any proposal and enact a substitute which would bear the Democratic label for consideration by voters during the 1956 elections.
The 1955 program of the President contained fewer major requests than in 1954, with most of his 183 proposals concerning adjustments of existing laws rather than innovations, unlike the previous year's omnibus tax revision program and farm price support revision. Moreover, the House the previous week had passed a fixed support bill, requiring the President to fight that battle again, after Congress had passed a modified flexible support bill the previous year.
The emphasis shifted to foreign policy involving 35 requests by the President. Early in the session, Congress had authorized use of U.S. armed forces to defend Formosa and related areas, and then ratified the treaties with Formosa, Southeast Asia and West Germany. A series of minor treaties had also been ratified, raising the President's score on favorable action in Congress.
Thus far in the 1955 session, the President's eight-point trade program had stirred the most controversy, with the Congress having passed a reciprocal trade extension bill and protectionist modifications which apparently were satisfactory to the President. A ten-point foreign aid program had received committee hearings. The military phase of the Cold War program had moved ahead, with House passage of the draft extension and committee approval of a watered-down military reserve bill.
Major domestic programs had made little progress, facing competition from rival plans. Hearings had been held on school and highway aid, an increase in the minimum wage, and a plan for Federal reinsurance of private health policies, but there was no sign of early action on those proposals. Key parts of the housing program remained in their early phases and no action had been taken on immigration, postage rates, or raising of the debt ceiling. The President had won his fight for extension of the corporate and excise tax rates for another year, without a reduction in the individual income tax rates by $20 per person, as had been sought by the Democrats.
It should be noted, parenthetically, that a couple of days ago, several news outlets reported that President Biden had committed "another gaffe" in stating that the U.S. would resist any attack by Communist China on Taiwan, with some contending, per their usual Aussie obsession, that it suggested that the President is suffering from "cognitive decline". But the problem is not that the President has dementia praecox, rather that these traitorous news outlets, who jump on the Fox bandwagon to obtain readers and viewers of the extreme right, are suffering from dementia half-cocked by making the fatal mistake of relying on the half-baked, juvenile-level research which is typically evident in Wicked-pedia and derivative sources online. For the fact is that the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1955 with Formosa, as referenced above by Congressional Quarterly, may still be in effect, despite the unilateral decision in 1979 by President Carter to declare the treaty void by affording diplomatic recognition to Communist China and ceasing to recognize Nationalist China. The Congress, however, never underwrote President Carter's unilateral determination to abrogate the 1955 treaty, which, with a year's notice, was permitted unilaterally by any signatory under its original terms. The question, therefore, still unresolved, is whether the President had authority to do so without the approval of Congress.
When Senator Barry Goldwater and other conservative Senators contested the ability of the President unilaterally to declare a treaty invalid without the consent of a majority of both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, in late 1979, ultimately decided the matter by vacating the Circuit Court of Appeals decision which had upheld the President's right to do so, and remanded with instructions to the District Court that it dismiss the Goldwater suit for lack of standing, for lack of ripeness in that the Congress had not passed a law challenging the President's authority in that regard, and because the decision presented a non-justiciable "political question", non-justiciable, in the view of Justice William Rehnquist and at least three other members of the Court, including Chief Justice Warren Burger, because the Constitution speaks only of the process of ratification of treaties and not the manner of their cancellation. That left the issue undecided as to whether the President has the authority to declare unilaterally a previously ratified treaty void, without the approval of Congress. Justice William Brennan, who dissented from the order to dismiss the case and would have instead reached the merits and upheld the Court of Appeals decision affirming the right of the President to abrogate the treaty, stated: "Abrogation of the defense treaty with Taiwan was a necessary incident to Executive recognition of the Peking Government, because the defense treaty was predicated upon the now-abandoned view that the Taiwan Government was the only legitimate political authority in China." But the treaty did not so declare, even if that was the policy of the United States at the time of the ratification of the treaty. Thus, the question of the President's constitutional or legal authority still remains, notwithstanding the well-reasoned dissent of Justice Brennan.
Congress at the time, of which Senator Biden was a member, passed a law, 22 USC 3301, et seq., signed by President Carter in April, 1979, which declared, among other things, that the policy of the United States regarding Taiwan is: "...(3) to make clear that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means; (4) to consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States; (5) to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character; and (6) to maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan." [Italics added.]
Section 3302 declared, in subsection (a): "In furtherance of the policy set forth in section 3301 of this title, the United States will make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability." That section also stated, in subsection (b): "The President is directed to inform the Congress promptly of any threat to the security or the social or economic system of the people on Taiwan and any danger to the interests of the United States arising therefrom. The President and the Congress shall determine, in accordance with constitutional processes, appropriate action by the United States in response to any such danger."
And regarding extant treaties, Section 3303(c) declared: "For all purposes, including actions in any court in the United States, the Congress approves the continuation in force of all treaties and other international agreements, including multilateral conventions, entered into by the United States and the governing authorities on Taiwan recognized by the United States as the Republic of China prior to January 1, 1979, [the date on which, as stated in Section 3301(a), President Carter terminated diplomatic relations with Taiwan], and in force between them on December 31, 1978, unless and until terminated in accordance with law." [Italics added.]
The statutory provisions became law on April 10, 1979, retroactive to January 1, 1979, before the purported expiration by law of the treaty by the President's unilateral declaration, which would have become effective on January 1, 1980.
That latter phrase of Section 3303(c) is still left undetermined as to its meaning by the Supreme Court's refusal to address the issue in its 1979 decision, a fair history of the proceedings leading to that decision having been summarized in 1979 in Yale Studies in World Public Order, now known as Yale Journal of International Law. Notwithstanding, therefore, an argument posed by the Government in opposition to the Goldwater, et al. petition for writ of certiorari in 1979, that the treaty would, by the President's declaration, automatically and irrevocably be terminated on January 1, 1980 if the Court did not decide the issue prior to that date, as referenced in footnote 38 of the above-linked article from Yale Studies, the question remains as to whether the 1955 treaty may still be viable by virtue of the Congressional statement in Section 3303(c). The treaty, by its original terms, was to run "indefinitely" unless one of the contracting parties terminated it on one year's notice. Did President Carter's unilateral determination in 1979 to abrogate the treaty have that effect without Congressional approval?
Regardless, the law declares in Section 3301(b)(6) that the U.S. can "resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan." Thus, President Biden was quite correct in his assertion of U.S. policy and U.S. rights under the law, as passed while he was a member of the Senate, to resist any forceful action against Taiwan by Communist China. It is the uninformed various news outlets happily following down the rabbithole burrowed by Fox and its traitorous political allies, who are dead wrong in their "analysis" of this subject, obviously rendering their opinions based on a check of sources with their dipsticks rather than traditional primary-source research based on fact and the law, internal and international. The President is not only not lacking in cognitive ability but has cognitive ability vastly superior to those clowns who are claiming to the contrary. They are so confused in their recognition faculties that they mistake him for his predecessor, who had no idea, obviously, whether what he was doing at any given moment was legal, and obviously did not care, given the bases for his two impeachments, as long as it fit his "Make America Great Again" sloganeering.
William Hazlitt, in Selected Essays, says that though he did not believe there was much downright hypocrisy in the world, there was a great deal of cant, which included, as Lord Byron had said, "cant religious, cant political, cant literary". Because few people could face the thing they despised, all wanted to be thought better than they were and so affected a greater admiration or importance of certain things than they really felt, finding that some degree of affectation was as necessary to the mind as dress was to the body.
"There was formerly the two hours' sermon, the long-winded grace, the nasal drawl, the uplifted hands and eyes; all which, though accompanied with some corresponding emotion, expressed more than was really felt, and were in fact intended to make up for the conscious deficiency." As interest in anything wore out with time, people tended to exaggerate the outward symptoms of zeal as "mechanical helps to devotion", dwelling the longer on their words as they were less felt, hence the origin of the term "cant".
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