The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 18, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Tokyo that a monitored Peiping radio broadcast had stated this date that Communist China was sending home three additional Americans and two Belgians who had chosen to remain in Communist China after the Korean War. It also stated that 16 others who had refused repatriation could return home any time they wanted, suggesting that they were homesick. There was no mention of the remaining 11 American fliers held by the Chinese Government on trumped-up charges of espionage, after they were captured late in the war when their B-29 bomber was shot down. Four Sabre jet pilots who had been captured late in the war had recently been released in Hong Kong and had since returned home. The broadcast did not say when the three Americans would be released but said that they were going through the formalities for their exit and making the necessary arrangements. Of the original 22 U.N. soldiers who had chosen not to repatriate, one had died, and the radio announcement strongly hinted that the other 16 were restless and anxious to come home, dissatisfied with life in a strange country with lower living standards. Of the original 22, one had been British and 21 were Americans. Two other American prisoners of war had also refused repatriation, but then change their minds and returned to the U.S., both having been court-martialed, with one corporal having been convicted of collaborating with the enemy and informing on fellow prisoners, sentenced to life imprisonment, though later reduced to 20 years, while the other corporal had been convicted of informing on his fellow prisoners and currying favor with his captors, sentenced to ten years at hard labor. The U.S. Government said on Thursday that it would arrange the return home of any of the 21 non-repatriated Americans if they changed their minds. The White House, State, Defense and Justice Departments, however, warned in a joint statement that any of those men who returned would be held accountable for any wrongful act they had committed while prisoners of war.

The Government had emerged this date from "Operation Alert 1955", the mock emergency evacuation of Washington after a supposed atomic attack. A decision had been made to rely on the inherent powers of the Presidency to mobilize the country in any actual attack scenario. That decision appeared to eliminate any possibility that the Administration would seek standby powers from Congress to invoke a swift freeze on wages and prices and to assume control of materials and production. Mobilization director Arthur Flemming stated that the decision to rely instead on the inherent powers of the President was the most important lesson learned from the three-day test. The President rested at his Gettysburg farm this date, and the remainder of the Government returned to Washington from the 31 hideouts to which 15,000 key officials and workers had fled the previous Wednesday. Mr. Flemming said that the President had made the decision only after he had been advised of the full facts of the supposed devastating attack, and that his proclamation of martial law would remain in effect only until Congress could be reconstituted or reassembled to declare war formally and enact war powers legislation. It sounds like they done blowed it up and they didn't even tell you.

In San Francisco, Russia's Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov arrived this date for a week of diplomatic activity which could overshadow the scheduled tenth anniversary celebration of the founding of the U.N. He had brought with him a delegation of 50 aides and advisers, many of whom had come from Moscow, and Western diplomats believed that he was determined to use the visit in every possible way to push the new Soviet "friendship" line. That effort might include a number of bilateral talks with foreign ministers of small nations during the celebration, set to last six days, starting June 20. It was also anticipated that he would hold talks with the Big Three Western foreign ministers regarding plans for the July 18 summit meeting of the Big Four leaders in Geneva. The Western foreign ministers would arrive on Sunday. The President would arrive on Saturday night and leave Monday night. He'd better plan to talk to the Rooskies 'bout that nucle'r attack.

Congressman Carl Vinson of Georgia, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said this date that he would make a statement on Tuesday regarding the effort to break a House stalemate on the military reserve bill, which the President had characterized as essential to accompany cuts in active Army manpower, but Mr. Vinson gave no hint as to what he intended to say. The Senate Armed Services Committee the previous day had postponed efforts to prepare its own bill, awaiting further action in the House. A measure designed to add another two million men to the trained reserves by 1960 had been sidetracked in the House the previous month after being amended on the floor at the initiation of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell to bar the assignment of reservists to racially segregated National Guard units. That bill, referred back to committee, was classified as "unfinished business" on the House docket and could be brought back to the floor again, or a compromise measure could be introduced.

In Buenos Aires, armed troops patrolled downtown streets this date, as stores shuttered by the bloodiest revolt in many years in South America cautiously began reopening for business. El Presidente Juan Peron set up his headquarters in the army ministry, surrounded by military chiefs whose forces had put down the naval air uprising two days earlier. Millions of Argentine workers had gone back to their jobs after a 24-hour general strike called to mourn the 360 persons killed and nearly 1,000 wounded in the violent uprising. Appealing to the nation for calm, El Presidente said in a broadcast the previous night that the revolt had been put down and peace prevailed throughout the country. He was ruling under a state of siege, a modified form of martial law, giving authorities the right to make immediate decisions to curb troublemakers, the Congress having quickly approved the declaration of the state of siege the previous day at the request of El Presidente. Sure, had they not, they would probably have been either imprisoned or shot.

Sam Summerlin of the Associated Press provides his first-hand account of the revolution, stating that he had been strolling through the noonday crowds past Metropolitan Cathedral when the violence erupted, that a plane had suddenly appeared out of the gray overcast sky and an explosion had ripped the air with the suddenness of a thunderclap. The crowd around him had stood bewildered for a moment, and then there were two more explosions, causing the crowd to scatter in panic. He had run up the street behind the cathedral, toward Government House, saw crowds crouching against the walls as trucks passed loaded with men in khakis. The men alighted at Government House and walked four abreast down the avenue toward them, causing some of the crowd to retreat around the corner to stay out of their firing range. Gunfire started occurring and a man nearby had fallen to the pavement, with friends grabbing him and shouting for an ambulance. Troops had dashed across the open boulevard and into the side entrance of Government House, as black smoke spiraled up from nearby explosions. For nearly two hours, the gun battle had raged, as civilians scampered across the streets, caught in the crossfire. Mr. Summerlin had seen two men hit by bullets, and another, walking with a handkerchief as a white flag, nearly hit. One fat woman, wearing a Peronista pin, shouted that she wanted to take part in the fight, but a man with a whistle had seized her, saying she was not armed.

In New York, the seamen's strike against shipping companies operating out of the East and Gulf Coast ports had ended this date, with the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the American Radio Association having signed three-year agreements with dry cargo and shipping companies during the morning, following the principal NMU agreement which had been reached the previous Wednesday at midnight. Union members were ordered to return to work immediately. Both of the smaller unions had been granted additional pension and welfare benefits, the major points at issue in the negotiations, with wage increases to be taken up a year later.

In Uvalde, Tex., former Vice-President John Nance Garner, who had served under FDR between 1933 and 1941, was planning to emerge from his self-imposed political exile for the second time since 1941 to boost the Democratic Party's drive to reclaim Texas in 1956. He would be the luncheon guest of DNC chairman Paul Butler, who was touring the state to try to reunite the Democratic Party, after the state had voted for General Eisenhower in 1952, the first time it had voted for a Republican since the 1928 election between Governor Al Smith of New York, a Catholic who was identified with ending Prohibition, and Herbert Hoover. Governor Allan Shivers, a Democrat, had supported General Eisenhower, and his closest allies had snubbed the meetings of Mr. Butler during the current tour. Mr. Garner, 86, had invited everyone to gather on the shady lawn of his home to meet Mr. Butler. The former Vice-President had emerged in 1952, after he had been requested to do so by his old friend, current House Speaker Sam Rayburn, to give Adlai Stevenson his support. Mr. Garner had split from FDR in 1940, opposing his running for a third term after also having differed on some New Deal policies, retiring at the time, saying that he was finished with politics.

In Charleston, S.C., firemen this date maintained a careful watch on the smoldering ruins of the Tidewater Terminals, which had been destroyed the previous day in the city's worst waterfront fire, claiming two lives and causing an estimated three million dollars worth of damage, after the flames had been fanned by 20 to 30 mph winds which gusted to 40 mph. A city policeman had been killed the previous night in the fire and the vice-president of Tidewater Terminals was missing.

In Columbia, S.C., Nathan Corn, who was serving a life sentence for murder, having twice escaped captivity, had been returned to the State Penitentiary this date after six months on the lam. He told corrections officers that he had some freedom and a good time and that they could not take that away from him. He would receive about a month of solitary confinement with a full meal only every third day as punishment for the latest escape. When caught by the FBI, he was living under an assumed name in Los Angeles. Only one of the other five men with whom he escaped was still at large. He was originally sentenced to death in December, 1949 for the murder of his employer, but won a retrial on appeal and was sentenced to life imprisonment after the second conviction.

In Raleigh, closing arguments took place this date in the trial of the 21-year old man accused of killing a woman on a sidewalk in Raleigh by shooting her from a hotel window, originally charged with second-degree murder, but after the court having granted a directed verdict on that charge for insufficient evidence at the end of the State's case, now only facing involuntary manslaughter for negligent homicide. The solicitor argued to the jury this date that even if they believed everything the defendant had said, he was still guilty of manslaughter, having admitted pulling the trigger of his German Luger pistol, though not knowing it was loaded at the time. The solicitor said that under North Carolina law, the jury should find him guilty of manslaughter, potentially carrying a sentence of between four months and 20 years in prison. Defense counsel argued during the course of 4 1/2 hours that the shooting resulted from an unavoidable accident and that his client should be acquitted. He said that testimony of the police officers had inconsistencies and that they had demonstrated imperfect memories. The all-male jury was expected to receive the case during the afternoon, following the judge's instructions.

In Lucca, Italy, it was reported that a 14-year old Italian princess was on her honeymoon in a Swiss hideout this date with a 75-year old millionaire count she had married in a secret ceremony in the middle of the night on Thursday, in a little church near the walled city, with news of the marriage having leaked out only this date, causing a sensation in Italy. Papal dispensation for the marriage had been granted to the young girl because of her age and because the groom was a Protestant.

In Linville, N.C., Billy Joe Patton was leading by four strokes Charlie Harrison of Atlanta at the halfway point of their 36-hole match for the Southern Golf Association amateur championship this date. Mr. Patton, a Morganton lumber dealer, was one over par on each of the front and back nine of the course, winning four holes on the front nine, all with pars, while Mr. Harrison won his only hole with a par four on the 11th, Mr. Patton reclaiming his four-hole advantage with a par on the 17th. These are things you want to know. Who was at the top of the leader-board on the Lucca honeymoon?

On the editorial page, "Diplomats: Soldiers at a Conference" indicates that the scheduling of the Big Four Summit meeting for July 18 in Geneva had brought diplomacy back into the spotlight as a weapon of power for the first time in nearly a decade. It was a new emphasis, in contrast to military might, and many Americans were apparently uneasy about it, recalling when it had occurred at Munich, in September, 1938, at Yalta, in February, 1945, and at Potsdam, in July, 1945, thus seeing no use in making such agreements which would only be broken. Others likely believed the propaganda that the State Department harbored Communists, perverts, and visionaries, and could be charged with being "soft" on Communism.

The fact that former Secretary of State Dean Acheson had not been soft on Communism, despite the charge, that he had been instrumental in building a wall of free nations around the Communists, and that there had been only a small number of Communists and other bad actors in the State Department at the time, had not diminished the traditional distrust which some Americans held for diplomats and diplomacy, with many having more faith in the military approach.

It doubts that the diplomats would have the same support at home during the conference which the military ordinarily had, even though they ought enjoy that support. If the diplomats failed or if they conceded a point to the Russians, it would not mean that they were appeasers or traitors, stupid or weak. They would be sitting down, as the President had said, to seek some kind of accommodation which would ease world tension.

Writing in the New York Times Magazine, Louis J. Halle had said that no diplomat of the past had ever functioned effectively when he did not have his master's confidence, and now that the people were the masters, it was still true, that if Americans wanted diplomacy to succeed, they had to understand the problems of those who practiced it for America and give them the assurance of their trust. Adlai Stevenson, in his commencement address at Oberlin College recently, had said that if the people were uncompromising, equated negotiation with appeasement, thought war was inevitable, that every Soviet proposal was a trick or a trap, that what was advantageous for one was automatically disadvantageous for the other, "then we the people have ruled out bargaining."

It concludes that bargaining was tricky and dangerous but that the country and the world had decided to try it, and counsels that the nation should unite behind the diplomats, believing that they were men dedicated to the country, as the record demonstrated that they were, and give them a chance to do their job.

"The Text for Communist Spotters" indicates that a pamphlet issued to Pentagon intelligence officers by the First Army had all the earmarks of Private David Schine, who had made so much news a year earlier during the Army-McCarthy hearings. He had offered to win the propaganda war for the country by putting up bathing beauty billboards all over the world. The pamphlet was titled, "How To Spot a Communist", suggesting that anyone using such terms as "book burning", "McCarthyism", "demagogy", "immigration laws", "civil rights", "military budget" or "peace", was a suspected subversive.

It indicates that the First Army had eliminated the pamphlet after a complaint was registered by the ACLU, with the Army saying that it was not appropriate for the purposes for which it was intended when originally issued by intelligence personnel.

It finds that it was obviously inappropriate, as Americans of all political stripes, even including the President, argued against one another regarding the phrases it suggested were indicative of subversion. It finds that when the time would come when Americans had to consult a pamphlet to see what they could safely discuss, there would be no need for intelligence officers to spot Communists, that the battle would be over and the Communists would have won.

In 1953, reporters from the Madison (Wis.) Capital Times had asked 200 persons on the street to define a Communist, and a farmer had replied that they were "no good" but that he could not figure out what they were. A housewife had said that she did not know what a Communist was but believed that they should throw them out of the White House. An office worker had said that anyone who stood for things that democracy does not was a Communist. It concludes that it would not be surprised if one of the three people interviewed had been the author of the Army pamphlet.

"If It Weren't for Dear Old Dad..." tells of Father's Day the following day, suggesting that fathers had been held up as heroes, martyrs, the person who brought home the bacon, a lovable old soul, protector of the home, defender of the castle and just about everything fine and untarnished under the sun. It indicates, however, that it was the duty of the editorial writer to produce fresh phrases and novel forms of high praise. But when it examined the records of the past, it found that dad had been called "kind, brave, gentle, considerate, strong, gracious, sympathetic, wise, honorable, big-hearted and the swellest guy in the whole world." So it simply says amen and adds that it thinks dad was "the most to say the least," that if it were not for him, "where would we be today?"

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "'Don't Trust Turnips!'" suggests the problems of a manager of a collective farm in the Soviet Union, wishing to help the motherland win its glorious struggle for food, that if that manager had just planted the south 20 hectares with turnips, he would now be confronted with the news that Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev had warned a meeting of collective farmers in Moscow not to place too much reliance on turnips, that a person who did so was like one who jumped into a boat without oars on a fast-flowing river.

It suggests that the collective farm manager in those circumstances should have realized that the turnips were too much in the bourgeois tradition, that it was safer to grow cabbage, especially red cabbage.

Mr. Khrushchev believed in corn and hogs. It suggests that maybe beets would be the answer, as they were a root crop and were red, and so counsels that the turnip land be converted to beet growing. "Then next time the party first secretary comes to inspect your kolkhoz, set him down to a steaming bowl of borscht—with plenty of beet juice in it!"

Drew Pearson indicates that HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby had testified before the Senate Labor and Welfare Committee the previous week, criticizing the Democratic bill to supply the Salk polio vaccine free to all youth under age 20, saying that it smacked of "socialized medicine". Mr. Pearson finds that for weeks, Secretary Hobby and some members of Congress had been skirting all around those words, trying to avoid the fact that the Canadian Government had administered the Salk vaccine itself, pooling production of it in one laboratory under direct Government supervision. While it was socialized medicine, they had not experienced any deaths, as had the U.S. in a limited number. Secretary Hobby and Congressional friends had also skirted around the fact that Dr. Salk had sought nine months earlier to get the drug companies to start making the vaccine, but that under the current system of non-socialized medicine, only one firm would do it. In consequence, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis had to place nine million dollars in advance orders of the vaccine to get the program started for first and second-graders.

Some Senators had gone so far in avoiding use of the term "socialized medicine" that for a time only one Republican would attend the meetings called by Senator Lister Hill of Alabama, some of them wanting to delay his bill providing for free vaccine to all children under 20. Finally, when Mr. Pearson's column had called attention to the consistent absences of Senators Alexander Smith of New Jersey, Barry Goldwater of Arizona, George Bender of Ohio, and Gordon Allott of Colorado, attendance had picked up and Senator Hill was able to obtain a quorum. Since that time, debate within the Committee had revolved around the question of whether the vaccine would be provided for all youth under 20 or would merely be provided to the needy under 20, the latter being the limited recommendation of the Republicans and the plan of the President, which would provide for coverage of 22 percent of youth.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the difference in the appropriation to save lives was only about 95 million dollars, a small amount considering the way many billions were spent on the military for taking lives. The difference was only the term "socialized medicine", as uttered by Secretary Hobby in opposition to the program of the Democrats to vaccinate all youth under age 20 at Government expense.

Walter Lippmann remarks of his piece of two days earlier regarding the tenth anniversary of the U.N. Charter, having stated that the U.N. had been conceptualized as a universal society to which all governments wished to belong and from which none wished to resign. He indicates that there was a second conception which had been invoked in the case of the Korean War, that holding that the U.N. was a league to enforce peace against military aggression. The latter conception had given rise to much disappointment and popular opposition to the organization. The Korean War, fought in the name of the U.N. to enforce peace, had been an unpopular war in the U.S., with Americans finding themselves bearing the brunt of that fight in a distant land. It had also been an indecisive war in the end, and the American people believed they had been let down and were bitter, having believed in the concept of collective security and that all of the U.N. members would rise in unison against aggression.

He says, however, that the fact was often forgotten that the Korean War could never have been fought as a U.N. enterprise but for an accident which was as yet unexplained, the absence of the Soviet representative from the Security Council during the first six months of 1950, having boycotted because of the refusal to admit Communist China in lieu of Nationalist China. Had Russia been present, they would likely have vetoed U.N. action in Korea, as it had been precipitated by the invasion by North Korea of the South. It was likely that in the future no other permanent member of the Council would be absent when such a momentous decision was undertaken and it was also unlikely that any government would hesitate to use its veto if the Council were about to take action against one of the member's dependent states.

He finds that the Korean War had demonstrated that the U.S. and some of its allies would, under certain conditions, go to war against aggression. The North Korean aggression had threatened a vital position of the U.S. vis-à-vis Japan and the U.S. had in place military forces to resist it. But the action did not demonstrate that the U.N. would or could be an institution for collective enforcement of peace against military aggression.

He corrects that the idea that the U.N. was such a collective agency was a popular misconception, as the Charter did not facilitate such collective enforcement of peace, in fact all but prevented it. The unilateral veto by the five permanent members of the Security Council was as much a condition imposed by the U.S. as by Russia, to prevent military action ever being taken against the major powers or against any small power under the protection of a great power. Thus, the veto prevented a world war and it would make no sense to establish a universal society which was organized to wage world war. Only if the five major powers were unanimous would there be collective enforcement against a small power, and in that event, it meant that the small powers were less likely to wage war, yielding to the pressure and influence to negotiate and accept mediation.

The concept of an international league to enforce peace had become current during World War I, and the idea was thought to have been adopted in the U.N. Charter, when, in fact, it had been rejected. There were sections of the Charter authorizing collective action against aggression, but they were actually fossils left over from the earlier time, now past, before the idea had been put to the test. Those sections could not be made operative unless a given international conflict were of little importance and did not involve the interests of any of the five major powers.

In place of the concept of collective enforcement of peace had been developed an alternative, organizing Western power to counterbalance Communist power. That had rendered improbable wars of aggression and crusades of liberation because of the incalculable consequences in the nuclear age. It was therefore the balance of power, not the U.N.'s supposed role as an enforcer of peace, which had brought the world to its current status of having no alternative to peace, as the President had put it.

Mr. Lippmann indicates his belief that the mission of the U.N. was to be a universal society without sovereignty and without military power, but with an increasing influence over all sovereignties and powers, and he believes it would be good for the future to abandon the thought of the U.N. as a league to enforce peace. He favors leaving that job and the resistance to aggression and protection of the weak to the armed alliance of NATO. The U.N. enabled issues, however insoluble, to be hashed out and never pressed so far that they would bring the ultimate doom and disaster to mankind.

Robert C. Ruark, in Houston, indicates that things were getting so much back to normal that it was almost time for the Coue school of "every day, in every way, things are getting better and better" to arise. He had been having a lot of fun in Houston with some character who prescribed a lemon peel, egg shells and potato eyes as a better dietary way of life, the food faddest, however, awaiting conviction for violation of Federal laws, meanwhile lecturing to packed houses on how to live to be 180 under the right diet.

"When people are flocking to the hammed-up evangelists, listening to the faith healers, obeying the food faddists and the other jovial frauds, I feel like maybe there won't be a world war tomorrow."

He says that for a short time, he was the crackpot editor on the Washington Daily News, largely because of wild-eyed visionaries and carrot-juice drinkers who could smell a certain affinity across the city room. He had met and dealt with the foreseers of doom, a lady who had just seen God, a man who was going to put the evil eye on Adolf Hitler, and a fellow who subsisted entirely on air. Mostly he had played those people straight, making as much sense as what was going on in Congress, finding a very thin line between fad and faith, foolishness and fact.

Thus, the recent mania about diet, practiced by millions of people, was not far removed from the doctor who was preaching that egg shells and potato eyes brought virility.

He had just picked up a clipping from California, "home of the quack and temple of commercial faith", which had said that three weeks of cabbage juice would heal ulcers. He decides to believe it, quotes comedian Joe E. Lewis, "I got to drink this milk for my ulcer, but the whisky is for me."

A letter writer from Hamlet, age 15, indicates that the present problem of juvenile delinquency caused worry for everyone but most of all for the teenagers themselves, that he wanted to protest the adverse publicity given to teenagers in newspapers, theaters, on radio and television, while statistics showed that only a small percentage of teenagers were actually troublemakers. He finds that such movies as "Blackboard Jungle" caused people to think that all teenagers were rotten. Many television and radio programs portrayed teenagers as committing all manner of crimes, from murder to robbery to dope, etc. He finds that when children were told that they were bad, that did not make them become good. Seldom did people read about teenage accomplishments in church, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, or scholastic achievements. He does not deny that there were many teenage vandals, but claims that bad would go to worse unless the world adopted a new strategy, suggests that movies and television praise those teenagers who were not bad. He indicates that everywhere teenagers went, they were viewed with suspicion and distrust and that the situation had to be changed, as many teenagers, when tempted to stray, adopted the attitude that they might as well as they had nothing to lose, already thought of as rotten anyway.

Well, you have "Ozzie and Harriet" and their nice boys, and "Father Knows Best" and their nice children, and "Make Room for Daddy" and their nice children. What more do you want? Too much sugar causes one to become fat and lazy. Next October, they'll release "Rebel without a Cause". Everything'll be copacetic after that. You'll see.

A letter writer indicates that he had attended as a member a meeting of the President's Committee for Traffic Safety in Washington and that the outstanding feature had been an audio-visual presentation of the publicity given to Safe Driving Day by all media. He expresses appreciation to the newspaper for its part. He says that they were cooperating wholeheartedly in the Slow Down and Live campaign being sponsored by the National Conference of State Safety Coordinators, that the country had saved 2,000 lives in traffic the previous year, on the basis of total deaths in 1954 versus those of 1953, and was having another good year thus far in 1955. He believes that the newspapers, magazines, radio and television were having a beneficial impact on highway safety, including safe driving and safe walking.

A letter writer relates his disappointment that the City Council did not have the authority to discontinue the sale of beer on Sundays, indicates his belief that the Council did have the authority and cannot understand why it could not be done without going through the Legislature, something which they did not have to do to place "No Smoking" signs on city buses. (See there? Even in 1955, Amurica was already no longer grate.)

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