The Charlotte News

Monday, May 9, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, the NATO Council welcomed West Germany as its 15th member this date, as West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer took his place at the table for the first time in a public session of the Council, which opened a three-day session regarding problems of Western European defense and other issues of global import. Chancellor Adenauer pledged that his countrymen would support the cause of world peace and freedom. He said that the German people had "paid harshly for the horrors which were committed in their name by blind and evil leadership," during World War II, that the suffering had "transformed and purified the German nation", such that now everywhere in Germany, "peace and freedom are felt to be the greatest treasures, as was the case in the best periods of her history." He said that NATO's "purely defensive" tasks were in "full harmony with the natural interests of the German nation, which after a dreadful experience gained in two world wars is longing as ardently as any other nation in the world for security and peace." He stated that the West German treaties of alliance with NATO and the expanded West European Union, formerly the Brussels Pact, were an "expression of the need to overcome the narrow nationalism which in past decades was the root of our disaster." He also indicated his Government's intention to reunite the country as soon as possible and promised that Germany would be an able and reliable partner, playing its part in safeguarding freedom and human dignity. After the formalities of admitting West Germany to its membership, the ministers were set this afternoon to begin discussion of a prospective Big Four meeting during the summer regarding major world problems, particularly German reunification.

In Washington, the Government urged that the nation's polio vaccination program be halted for at least a few more days while Federal health authorities continued to check the safety of the Salk vaccine, after about 40 breakthrough cases of polio infection had been reported following by a few days receipt of the vaccination, in four cases, death having resulted. Surgeon General Leonard Scheele had announced that conclusion the previous day, hoping that a plant-by-plant check of the vaccine manufacturers would permit resumption of the program by the end of the week, while indicating confidence that five of the laboratories presently manufacturing the vaccine would obtain a complete bill of health. He said that the vaccine, itself, remained as safe and effective as originally announced and that the children who had already received the vaccination had no cause for alarm. Early on Saturday, the Surgeon General, after having expressed on Friday the recommendation that the inoculations be continued where vaccine was available, suddenly had called a halt to the inoculations and had followed through the previous day with a recommendation for a further delay for a "double check". Most of the states appeared disposed to follow the advice, as New Jersey and Connecticut, among others with vaccine supplies on hand, had called a halt to the inoculation program. Indiana's health commissioner had first indicated no reason for delay, but later recommended following suit. Many states had inadequate supplies to continue the vaccinations in any event. Only Michigan determined to continue its vaccination program unless there was a direct order not to do so, as they indicated ample evidence that the vaccine they had been using was safe and effective. Most of the breakthrough cases had occurred in Western states, utilizing vaccine from Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, Calif., but all indications thus far were that the problem had been caused by pre-vaccination exposure to polio, as the cases were occurring in a shorter time than the ordinary 10-14 day gestation period for polio after exposure.

Julian Scheer of The News indicates that there had been no change in the scheduled second inoculation shots of the vaccine for first and second-grade children in Mecklenburg County, receiving the vaccination free through the offices of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, that the second shot scheduled for initial administration the following Monday would, at present, take place without postponement, but that alteration of that schedule might take place should local health officials be advised to do so.

In Washington, agreement was reached this date ending the 57-day strike of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, to become effective on Wednesday morning. Union representatives and management negotiators had met separately with Government mediators and signed an agreement submitting the unsettled issues of the strike to binding arbitration. The strike, marked at times by violence, had crippled rail service in 14 Southern states and was the longest rail strike since 1922, impacting 29,000 employees. The L&N had won one of its major points in dispute, that the strike would have to end before arbitration would begin, while the striking non-operating unions had won one of their major points, that all original issues at the start of the dispute two years earlier would be considered by the referee in arbitration. A health insurance plan had been the principal issue at the start of the strike on March 14.

Out of Clay County, N.C., an indictment was returned against 12 persons by a grand jury for conspiracy to defraud voters of their constitutional rights by having taken absentee applications and official absentee ballots in violation of state law and distributing them to many registered voters of the county and others, soliciting those persons to cast absentee ballots, even though they were ineligible to cast absentee ballots, and to vote in person. It was charged that the defendants, in many instances, had given persuasive force to their request for absentee votes, making expenditures of sums of money to voters to influence them in casting their absentee vote or withholding their vote, as directed by the defendants, and that large numbers of the illegal votes had been cast or withheld as part of the conspiracy. (About half of the first column of this story, along with that of two others on the left side of the front page, were unfortunately cut off from the microfilm when the front page was originally photographed and is not available. So we must interpolate as we can. Blame the drunken bum who made the copy many years ago, not us.)

Dick Young of The News reports that the first woman member of the City Council in the history of Charlotte had been sworn in this date, as Martha Evans took the oath along with six other incumbents to the Council. Her swearing in was greeted by applause and she made a brief statement.

Congressman Charles Raper Jonas, representing Mecklenburg County, tells of his research having demonstrated that Davy Crockett was not in fact born in Lincoln County, North Carolina, as some had believed, but rather in Tennessee, as Mr. Crockett, himself, had implied, without directly saying so, in his autobiography, and as stated in all of the biographies Mr. Jonas had examined, that his father had lived in Lincoln County, neighboring Mecklenburg, at some earlier time and had fought in the Revolution during the 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain, six years before Davy's birth. He recommends Mr. Crockett's autobiography as being colorful, and indicates that he had maintained a diary during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, with his last entry of March 5 having stated: "Pop, pop, pop! Bom, bom, bom! throughout the day. No time for memorandums now. Go ahead! Liberty and independence forever!" (He should have said "memoranda" to be completely proper, but under the emergent circumstances, we can forgive the minor transgression to Latin.)

On the editorial page, "Is the Illegitimate Child To Blame?" indicates that bills before the Legislature to deny public assistance to children born out of wedlock had been proposed for the previous 18 years but had, for one reason or another, always failed to be passed into law. The latest bill was designed to prevent women from receiving welfare benefits for more than one illegitimate child, and had been killed by the House Welfare Committee.

Opponents of the existing program had said that their campaign for reforms would continue, claiming that certain types of mothers would bear children out of wedlock for the sole purpose of obtaining additional public funding.

It informs, however, that need was the sole basis of qualification for eligibility to receive public assistance, that the legitimacy of the child in question had nothing to do with receipt of benefits, and that tampering with that principle would mean conflict with the Federal Social Security Act, resulting in complete withdrawal of all Federal funds from the state for aid to dependent children.

The Federal Government paid about 80 percent of the money for the program. A subcommittee report adopted by the State House Welfare Committee the prior Thursday had noted that there was no relationship between the aid to dependent children program and the number of illegitimate births in North Carolina, finding that few children were born out of wedlock after a mother began receiving aid to dependent children.

It urges that the public should not be discriminating against a child simply because it happened to be born out of wedlock and that welfare legislation should not be enacted at the expense of innocent children.

"'Socialism' Steps on the Gas" indicates that there was always someone in current times suggesting that the country was a victim of "creeping socialism", but that Economic Intelligence, a monthly bulletin of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, had suggested that socialism was no longer creeping, rather cruising along with the throttle wide open, as now, according to that journal, "highways are socialized". According to the Chamber's research department, public ownership of highways had produced all sorts of ills, including bottlenecks and shortage of highway space, and yet without shortage of the things needed by the average driver along the way, as the profit motive and free pricing system insured those adequate supplies, while the highways themselves, were socialized, resulting, as most such socialization, in seldom having the right quantity of anything.

The bulletin saw no solution for the problem as long as the U.S. had only public highways, and so had proposed finding ways to have user-supported, privately-owned highways.

The piece finds it to be a classic battle between two terms, "government ownership" and "free enterprise", and apparently there was no compromise in that war.

Abraham Lincoln had said, "The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do for themselves." It finds the public highway system to be a good example of that principle in action. Private roads, including toll expressways, could help relieve some of the congestion but were not the answer to the nation's basic highway problem, which could only be accomplished by expanding the program of construction of free highways.

It points out that in the 20 states with toll projects either completed or authorized, the turnpikes were managed by authorities not directly responsible to the voters or the legislatures. A highway expert, commenting in Business Week the previous year, had said: "The effect is to set up competing highway departments within states with the new agencies answerable to bondholders rather than to the public. We're going to have one big royal bust before this conflict is settled."

Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield was supposed to have said that Socialists and Communists were indistinguishable, both being "inch-worms responsible for the state of affairs we are in today." It suggests that while Mr. Summerfield might not have realized it, he was presiding over what was perhaps the largest chunk of "socialism" in the nation, the postal service, and suggests that Economic Intelligence might like to take on that dragon next.

"North Carolina: Portrait in Names" tells of editor Don Shoemaker, in the area around the French Broad River and Beaucatcher Mountain, having decided upon inclusion in the Seven Wonders of the state the Coliseum in Raleigh, the Blue Ridge Parkway, a textile mill, the Wright Memorial and a few others, and had been taken to task gently by an editor from Greensboro, who had suggested the mention of Archibald Henderson and Harry Golden among the Wonders.

It wonders whether one could name buildings, roads, sites or people and tell the story of a great state by its great wonders, suggests that it could be told without embellishing and without mentioning buildings or people or historical sites through merely scanning a roadmap, suggesting that it could be Chunky Gal Mountain or Caesars Head, Cherokee or Saxapahaw, Star or Samarkand, or Frying Pan and Ocracoke, or Chocowinity or Machelhe Island, as all of those could be North Carolina, where "the Goldens and the Hendersons and the courthouses and the mansions and the shanties … all tucked away from the eve of the editorial writer … all names that spell wonder."

What about Finger and Lizard Lick? Did you forget them?

In any event, we are still wondering when the funeral for the Darling family of dummies is going to take place and where it will be, in Survival City or elsewhere, so that the people who have a hankering can properly attend from ova heya—except for the person who broke all of their windows before blowing down their house. He was two-timing the youngest of the brood anyway, as he already had a wife and was living in a ranch-style home in the country the while. Who was he kidding with that scraggly-bearded rustican-bumpkin routine? When he couldn't get his way with her, he just dropped the Big One.

A piece from the Columbia State, titled, "Sinister Yankee Plot", indicates that the Charleston Junior League Cook Book stated that "to call them hominy grits, gives Charlestonians fits," but that in all the discussion regarding Strom Thurmond and his "nectar of the gods" from South Carolina, they had been called "hominy grits" or grits, every single time.

The dispute had generated from someone in a Northern manufacturing firm, which packaged the product in a way to penetrate the "darkened intellects of his neighbors", having labeled them "hominy grits". Nevertheless, the "yankeeism" was being generally accepted and had insinuated itself to the point of causing humiliation.

It concedes that it might be fighting a lost cause, but insists that coarsely ground corn was grist before it was cooked, or grits, if one insisted, and that only when it was placed in an utensil containing 4 to 6 cups of water to each cup of grist, and cooked for at least an hour at a slow boil, could it be called hominy. "Avast and avaunt to his 'hominy grits' stuff. We shall have none of it."

Drew Pearson indicates that the President's advisers had been discussing the idea of making Senator Walter George of Georgia, 77, Secretary of State in place of Secretary Dulles, based on the fact that Senator George probably could not be re-elected the following year, partly because of his age, partly because of the vigorous opposition from former Governor Herman Talmadge in the primary, and partly because of his support of the President, especially in opposing the $20 individual tax cut supported generally by the Democrats, which had hurt him seriously in Georgia.

But the most important factor was that Secretary Dulles had taken so many different stands on so many different issues that he had become a political liability, such that right-wing Republicans disliked him even more than did Democrats. His recent release of the Yalta record from February, 1945 and the way it had been handled, plus the firing of Ed Corsi as Assistant Secretary of State in charge of immigration after only 90 days on the job, primarily based on Congressional investigation of Mr. Corsi's supposed sympathies with Communism, had only climaxed a long series of inept actions. Prime Minister Anthony Eden also disliked him with a passion, which was not helping Anglo-American relations. The advisers to the President were worried about political repercussions from present policies in the Far East and believed that it would be better to have a conservative Democrat in the post to share the blame.

Present Far East policies cut two ways and could alienate two important political segments, on the one hand the segment for peace, already worried about the U.S. becoming involved in a war over the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu, in the invent that they were attacked by Communist China, and on the other hand, the right-wing China lobby of the Republican Party, represented by Senators William Knowland and Styles Bridges, that wing having almost succeeded in labeling former Secretary of State Dean Acheson a "traitor" for supposedly selling out Nationalist China to the Communists. Thus, the advisers did not want such propaganda directed at the President. A Democratic Secretary of State, however, especially one of Senator George's prestige, would soften attacks from the Republican right while nullifying any Democratic criticism for risking war.

In addition, if Indo-China were completely lost to the Communists, as now appeared likely, a Democratic Secretary of State would soften the bitter attacks sure to follow against the Administration for losing such a sizable chunk of the free world.

Walter Lippmann discusses the problems facing the forthcoming Big Four conference of foreign ministers regarding Germany, finding that there could be no immediate agreement on reunification of Germany after national elections and evacuation of Western troops from West Germany until the issue of the German frontiers was settled, and that it would therefore take a series of incremental diplomatic steps over a period of years to resolve those inevitable problems, even assuming all four powers were basically willing to negotiate on an all-German treaty.

If the U.S., Britain and France could not convince West Germany that they were able to engage in serious negotiation for German reunification, the next phase of negotiation would be directly between West Germany and the Soviets, perhaps even the actual objective of Soviet diplomacy. If the Big Four conference could be made to fail on issues causing the West to appear to be in conflict with German national interest in reunification, it would prepare the basis for something resembling the visit by the Chancellor of Austria to Moscow recently, resulting in the bilateral pact between Austria and the Soviet Union.

But the Austrian pattern would not fit Germany for several reasons, as Austria, while occupied by the Big Four, was not divided as was Germany between East and West, with two antagonistic social systems in place. Vienna had remained the capital of the whole country, unlike the divided Bonn and East Berlin governments. Austria had also not been dismembered and its frontiers were unchanged and undisputed, unlike Germany. Thus, it would be much more difficult to arrange one legitimate government for Germany, as well as to determine what the internationally recognized frontier within a reunited Germany would look like.

Even if the Soviets were willing to accept the Western demand for free elections and if the West were willing to accept the Soviets' condition of a neutral Germany with regard to its military alliances, the West could not afford to withdraw its forces from Germany as long as there was no settlement of the Eastern frontier. Withdrawal of Western forces, leaving a sovereign and united German government to negotiate with the Soviets about a revision of the Potsdam frontier would open the door for revivification of the German-Russian alliance based again on a re-division of Polish territory, as just prior to World War II.

While the Soviets might hope to strike such a bargain with a united Germany, it was improbable that they would do so at present by making concessions on the territory occupied by the Poles, as they would be risking relinquishment of their military control of East Germany while jeopardizing their solidarity with Poland by affronting Polish national sentiment, in the meantime not knowing the type of German government which would result from national elections. Thus, the Soviets would likely be unable to negotiate a final settlement of the Eastern frontier until a united German government would exist.

Mr. Lippmann therefore suggests that it would be wise for the West to establish the general idea that reunification of Germany, the evacuation of German territory and the fixing of a permanent German frontier could not be established in one diplomatic action, but rather would require a long period of time over years to effect. He indicates that if that assumption proved correct, the West ought be ready with specific, flexible proposals for eventual reunification, while recognizing that the process could not be completed by military evacuation until the question of the German frontiers was resolved.

The Congressional Quarterly examines the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, indicates that contrary to common assumption, it was not the trade agreements negotiated on a reciprocal basis with 33 other nations which formed the main source of controversy regarding it, but rather the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. In 1947, President Truman had initiated GATT under the authority of the Act, but it had yet to be approved by Congress. Yet, this agreement, to which 34 nations subscribed, had produced greater impact on trade and tariff policy than all of the bilateral trade agreements signed before or since 1947.

Recently, the GATT nations had agreed to make further changes in the agreement's trade rules and to set up an Organization for Trade Cooperation to administer the agreement. President Eisenhower had asked Congress to approve U.S. membership in OTC, but had not submitted the rules changes or the basic agreement to Congress for its approval.

The GATT nations accounted for 80 percent of world trade and the schedules of tariff concessions covered in that agreement involved more than 50,000 items of trade, with its rules governing such complex questions as the use of internal taxes as a substitute for tariffs, quota restrictions on imports and exports, export subsidies and state trading.

The President regarded GATT as the "key element" in U.S. foreign economic policy and warned that failure to join OTC would be interpreted throughout the free world as a lack of genuine interest in the efforts to expand trade. He believed that such a failure would lead to the imposition of new trade restrictions by other countries. And recent news dispatches from Europe suggested that such a failing would bring active discrimination against the dollar and U.S. trade.

Strongest opposition to GATT came from supporters of U.S. protective tariffs, such as the American Tariff League. But without participation of the U.S., GATT and OTC probably would not exist, as the U.S. was the world's largest trader, in 1954 having exported 15 billion dollars worth of goods and imported 10 billion dollars worth, together representing only 7 percent of U.S. gross national product but about 16 percent of total free world trade. According to the Department of Commerce, the U.S. imported almost 1.5 billion dollars worth of coffee, most of it from Latin America, while it exported nearly 1.3 billion dollars worth of automobiles, parts and accessories. Total exports and imports had remained steady in 1952 through 1954, albeit with fluctuation in the composition of that trade. There were increases in certain imports, contributing to rising domestic opposition to the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.

Although the relationship between tariffs and imports was generally complex, there was some evidence that the tariff increase on certain types of watch movements, for example, which had been ordered by the President in July, 1954, had led to a drop in imports, especially from Switzerland. Imports of clocks, watches and parts were valued at 25.8 million dollars during the last quarter of 1953 and at 18.4 million during the last quarter of 1954, while total imports from Switzerland during the same two periods of time had fallen from 47.5 million dollars to 43.6 million. As a result of the President's action, Switzerland had sought and obtained from the U.S. an agreement to negotiate compensatory tariff cuts for other Swiss commodities.

A letter writer defends the position of the president of the Mecklenburg Historical Association in taking exception to the director of the Department of Archives and History in Raleigh for having questioned the provenance of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, purportedly signed on May 20, 1775, copies having been prepared from memory after the original had been destroyed in a fire in the early 19th Century. This writer indicates that the staff of the Archives had neither disproved the existence of the Declaration nor done anything to substantiate it, and he feels they had been remiss in not doing so. The commemorative date had been inscribed on the state flag in 1861 through an act of the Legislature, was taught in the public schools and contained in state histories. There was presently a resolution pending in the State Senate and House directing that a proper display of the Declaration be permanently exhibited. He indicates that the people of Mecklenburg County expected fair and impartial treatment in the matter and it was only right that they should receive it.

That old "Declaration" is not worth the paper it's printed on, and even if it were, what the hell difference does it make? The fact that the date was included on the flag in 1861 ought tell the person with some common sense what it was actually about, as well as that stupid, silly slogan that appeared on North Carolina license plates in the latter half of the 1970's, "First in Freedom", subsequently changed upon there being some outcry against the notion, to "First in Flight", which then appeared comically antithetical to the notion conveyed by the old saw, "First at Bethel, farthest at Gettysburg, last at Appomattox".

And we understand all too well that there are many North Carolinians who believe in freedom of speech and the press as long as you don't say any damned thing against the State of North Carolina, in which case they are like as not to kill you with a bowie knife to the back.

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.