The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 16, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Paris that that the 15-nation NATO alliance had given its unanimous endorsement this date to the plans of the Western Big Three for the forthcoming Big Four summit conference, set to start on Monday in Geneva. Secretary of State Dulles, British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan and French Foreign Minister Antoine Pinay reported their agreement for plans to the NATO Council and received its approval. Members of the Council agreed that reunification of Germany was the primary aim in easing tensions in Europe and that a reunified Germany would have to have complete freedom to choose its political future, including continued membership in NATO.

The President was en route to Geneva this date, as his plane reached Iceland, where it would remain for about 10 hours for refueling, to continue the journey the following day. In his broadcast from the White House for 15 minutes the previous night just before departure, he had all but pleaded with the Russians to make good on their recent tolerance and conciliation pledges. He said that if the words spoken by Premier Nikolai Bulganin would be carried out in practice at the conference, then there would be no trouble between the Russian delegation and that of the U.S. He said that if the distrust which had poisoned relations between the countries could be dispelled at the meeting, then the Big Four would have taken "the greatest step toward peace, toward future prosperity and tranquility that has ever been taken in all the history of mankind." A crowd of more than 200, including Vice-President and Mrs. Nixon, were on hand to see the President off on his journey.

All four leaders of the Big Four governments expressed optimism at the outcome of the conference. All also expressed that not all issues could be resolved by the conference. Premier Bulganin said that if the members of all of the delegations showed "a spirit of good will", then they could "map a way to peace, find a common language and lay the basis for settlement" of the major issues.

The President's call for prayers for success at the conference had produced an immediate reaction from clergymen across the nation, as leaders of various denominations announced that prayers would be offered the following day in their regular church services, with the World Council of Churches and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. already having appealed for special prayers.

Secretary of State Dulles had refused, based on foreign objections, to reveal still secret details of an international agreement the previous year dividing Iran's oil production among eight oil companies. The refusal was contained in a letter made public this date by Representative Emanuel Celler of New York, chairman of a House Antitrust subcommittee investigating the role of the five U.S. oil companies in the cartel, made in reply to a request by the subcommittee for all documents connected with the agreement. The Secretary said in the letter that Attorney General Herbert Brownell, in an opinion requested by the President, had determined in January, 1954 that participation in the cartel by U.S. companies was not a violation of the antitrust laws. He also said that the plan worked out to settle the Iranian crisis had fully justified the efforts made by the Government during the time between 1951 and 1954. He refused, however, to provide public details of at least four supplemental agreements affecting the cartel's production and distribution of Iranian oil because of the objections raised by Iran, England, France and the Netherlands.

In Columbia, S.C., a special three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court gave the Summerton school district of Clarendon County an indefinite amount of time to comply with the Supreme Court's decree for an end to segregation "with all deliberate speed", per the language of the May 31 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The court said that the district would have time to make "necessary adjustments" to end segregation but afterward would be enjoined from refusing to admit any pupil to any school based on race. The order stated: "It is ordered that the decree heretofore entered by this Court be set aside and, in accordance with the decision and mandate of the Supreme Court, it is ordered, adjudged and decreed that the provisions of the Constitution and laws of the State of South Carolina requiring segregation of the races in the public schools are null and void because violative of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and that the defendants be and they are hereby restrained and enjoined from refusing on account of race to admit to any school under their supervision any child qualified to enter such school, from and after such time as they may have made the necessary arrangements for admission of children to such school on a non-discriminatory basis with all deliberate speed as required by the decision of the Supreme Court in this cause." The court further reserved the right to enter additional orders as necessary. The trustees had announced that they would close the public schools rather than integrate them, and stated through their attorney that they planned a "comprehensive survey" of the question of reorganizing the school system on a nonsegregated basis, with the guidance of the University of South Carolina education and sociology departments. Future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, counsel for the NAACP, denounced the proposed study as being unnecessary, but had finally agreed to accept the wording of the court's order, saying that he had hoped for an order setting a definite time for ending segregation, possibly as early as the start of the coming school year in September. The attorney for the school district had concluded that to order desegregation immediately would so impair and disorganize the schools and their efficiency that public support would be impacted such that public education would not be reasonably expected to survive. The decision did not specifically authorize the school district to permit segregated schools in the coming school year, with the court saying it did not believe it was necessary to approve or disapprove of any plan because it was anticipated that the school district trustees would obey the law, that the court could not try to run the schools, that it could only direct observance of constitutional provisions. More on this decision is contained in an editorial below. The Clarendon County schools had a ratio of black to white students numbering ten to one, thus requiring integration of white students into a previously all-black school to achieve desegregation.

In Quantico, Va., 170 civilians, generals and admirals, who were in attendance of briefings at the annual Defense Secretaries' Conference, were to be given assurance this date that the U.S. still held qualitative superiority in air power. Based on prior press handouts of intended remarks, General Nathan Twining, Air Force chief of staff, was set to say to the group that the capabilities of Russia's long-range bomber force, as measured by the recent Moscow display of heavy jet bombers, showed "concrete evidence of accelerated Soviet progress" demonstrating a "Soviet intent to develop an effective long-range air arm." Admiral Arthur Radford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, would say that weapons were increasing in power, in complicated mechanism and in expense, that the U.S. was now reaching into fringe areas "where there are new unknowns with which to deal—unknowns such as the space above us, the speeds of aircraft, atomic energy, guided missiles—all these and more besides." He further said that the Soviets were also placing great emphasis and high priority on those same areas, that the difficulties in maintaining technical superiority in weaponry would increase as a result and that the country could not be complacent, either qualitatively or quantitatively, in its superior position. General Curtis LeMay, chief of the Strategic Air Command, would say that his command was fully capable of inflicting decisive blows against an aggressor.

In Casablanca in Morocco, rioting which had taken 26 lives during the previous two days, spread to the native quarter of the city this date despite a declaration of martial law in the city. In the native quarter, Moroccans set fire to a hospital and a sugar warehouse and firemen called in to extinguish the flames had been stoned. Army tanks were ordered to the area. Several hundred demonstrators had sought to assemble near the area where the government buildings were concentrated, but police had dispersed them. Mobs had taken over the European quarter of the city for 12 hours the previous day before order had been restored. A nationalist terrorist bombing had touched off the outbreaks on Thursday, when six persons were killed by the bomb which exploded in a crowded café section where Frenchmen were celebrating Bastille Day. Sentiment in the European quarter was running high against the new resident general in Morocco, who had arrived from Paris eight days earlier with French Cabinet orders to ease the tight French administration of the protectorate. Ardent nationalists in Morocco had long been carrying out a terrorist campaign of bombings and slayings in their drive for self-government. Friction had increased recently as European residents had lashed back at officials and other Frenchmen who had urged moderation and sympathy toward the nationalist aims. Some 250,000 Europeans, most of whom were French, lived in the modern city of 650,000.

In Cartersville, Ga., a man was sentenced to death the previous day following conviction by a jury for the murder of a schoolgirl of Rome, Ga. The death sentence was mandatory in the case after the verdict made no recommendation for mercy. The execution date was set for August 26. The defendant had admitted in an oral statement made to police that he lured the 14-year old girl from her home while she was sunbathing on June 20, had taken her to a lonely spot, raped and then killed her, throwing her weighted body into a river. The body had been discovered five days later. The defendant did not testify during the trial. His court-appointed attorneys had attempted unsuccessfully to delay the start of the trial with a plea of insanity, which was rejected by a special jury. The attorneys indicated that the conviction would be appealed. Defense counsel did not raise any issue on appeal regarding the voluntariness of the defendant's confession, despite his claim, as reported in the press, that he was beaten while in custody, resulting in a black eye, which was visible in press photos after his arrest. According to the reports, police stated that he had been driven to several remote locations by the police during the night following his arrest, until he finally confessed at a location which he identified as the scene of the rape and murder. The appellate opinion does not provide any synopsis of the evidence offered against the defendant by the State during the murder trial and so it is not possible to determine whether or not the confession was offered against the accused, some of his inculpatory statements having come into evidence in the special hearing on sanity for the purpose only of determining the state of mind of the defendant, assessed by the separate special jury. If the confession was never admitted at the trial of the murder, itself, then it would not have been subject to challenge on appeal against the murder conviction. The defendant had been paroled the prior December after serving nine years of a 20-year sentence for rape, and had been confined to a mental institution for a year and a half between 1948 and 1950.

Query whether news of the facts of that case reached the two half-brothers in Money, Miss., who would respond to the complaint of the wife of one of the brothers that a young black boy had been "fresh" and issued a wolf-whistle while shopping in their country store, by going to the home of the great-uncle of 14-year old Emmett Till in the middle of the night and rousting the latter from bed, after which they kidnaped him, beat him to a literal pulp and then shot him to death, dropping his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighted with a cotton gin fan. Would their brutality of August 28 be at least partially motivated, consciously or unconsciously, by news of this story appearing in newspapers a month and a half to two months earlier? Cartersville, northwest of Atlanta, was about 400 miles from Money and, undoubtedly, as the story was carried on the Associated Press wires, appeared in various newspapers across the South outside the Atlanta area, including in Mississippi markets serving Money, and also may have been relayed as a brief news item on radio stations. Perhaps, the brothers, without any picture, assumed that the confessor was black, given that his first name was stated as Willie, at least in versions of the story carried in publications other than the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

In Tokyo, it was reported that a new typhoon was churning across the Pacific in the wake of another typhoon which had blown itself out along the China coast, with the new typhoon expected to hit southern Japan the following morning, according to U.S. Air Force weather spotters.

In Wilmington, a young woman from Chapel Hill appeared to be a sure bet to be among the ten finalists for the Miss North Carolina beauty pageant, scheduled to conclude this night. She had won first places in the bathing suit competition the previous night and in the evening dress competition on Thursday night, and so was favored to win the pageant. A parade was held the previous day featuring the 34 entrants to the pageant, most of whom were wearing bathing suits. Lee Meriwether, Miss America of 1954, was in the parade and would be one of the judges for the pageant.

On the editorial page, "Geneva and the Time of Planting" indicates that the people were quite aware that peace was not just around the corner and that the Big Four summit conference offered no more than a hope that new paths toward the goal of peace might be reached, and that Secretary of State Dulles had to be aware of that fact.

It suggests that Secretary Dulles was experiencing some stage fright before facing the Russians, but that he and the President ought take confidence from the fact that the people supported them in their efforts, as did the Congress, and allies Britain, France and West Germany. There were also safeguards built into the conference agenda which would prevent deception, including the determination of the Western allies not to negotiate but only to define and discuss problems, that no agreements were to be signed, that areas marked for negotiation were to be explored by the foreign secretaries at meetings later in the year, that if any fruits were to come from the conference, they would not occur at the present time of "planting" but later when the intentions, plans and appeals to be voiced at the summit meeting could be subjected to "a season of calculated study".

It concludes that the U.S. had hedged itself against any possible losses at Geneva and there was the possibility of gains, and that the public thus would not be weak or immature to indulge in the hope that success would result from the conference.

"Segregation: A Vital Point Spelled Out" finds that language of Judge John J. Parker, contained in an opinion released the previous day regarding the public schools of Clarendon County in South Carolina, had placed the segregation problem in its proper perspective. Judges Armistead Dobie, also of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and District Court Judge George Bell Timmerman, had joined Judge Parker in stating that it was important to point out what the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education had decided with regard to the Clarendon County schools, not that the Federal courts were to take over and regulate the public schools of the states, not that the states had to integrate or must require persons of different races to attend schools or that they were to be deprived of the right of choosing the schools they wished to attend, but rather that the state could not deny, based on race, any person the right to attend any school that it maintained. Provided the schools were open to children of all races, no violation of the Constitution was therefore involved, even though children of different races voluntarily attended different schools. They had thus concluded that the Constitution did not require integration, but only forbade discrimination, that it did not forbid segregation resulting from voluntary action, only the use of governmental power to enforce segregation. "The 14th Amendment is a limitation upon the exercise of power by the state or state agencies, not a limitation upon the freedom of individuals."

The three-judge panel had ruled that the Summerton district officials could not refuse admission to any school on account of race and provided no precise deadline for compliance with Brown.

It finds that it was a point which the whole South should now ponder, a point raised by Judge Fred Helms of Charlotte recently during a talk before the Masonic Fellowship Club, that the Supreme Court had not ordered integration, but had held that segregation was illegal when imposed on the basis of race by any governmental entity. It believes it had cleared up a popular misconception about Brown and would be a valuable aid to citizens throughout the South as they sought to work out reasonable, peaceful solutions to the "social puzzle".

"Needed: A Massive Cooperative Effort" indicates that 14 persons had been killed on Charlotte streets during the first 196 days of 1955 and that 441 others had been injured during the same period. It finds public apathy about the situation shameful and that Charlotte needed to follow the lead of Wausau, Wisc., which had been named the leading traffic safety city in the nation for the second consecutive year. It finds that the record had been achieved through cooperative effort of all citizens in that community to make everyone safety conscious. The result had been not a single traffic fatality in that city of 32,000 for over two years, through mid-February, 1955. The educational program had begun 20 years earlier and was continued in all public school grades, with safety parades and annual awards, plus safety squads of schoolchildren. There were required driving courses in high school, including practical operation of a motor vehicle on the road. The police patrolled the streets 16 hours per day and made a special effort to look for any negligence. Churches, service clubs and other civic organizations were continuously sponsoring and aiding safety campaigns. It finds it, therefore, a proper example for Charlotte to follow.

A piece from Noir et Blanc in Paris, titled "Self-Employed", indicates that thieves had planned in detail how they would haul away expensive copper pipe which the city of Paris had been about to use in an urban project. They had stolen a truck painted in the same color as the municipal service vehicles, had then gone to a warehouse where the pipes were stored and began to load them. But the foreman who caused their arrest explained to police that he had immediately seen that they were not actually city employees.

Some of the nuances of the story may have been lost in translation.

Drew Pearson indicates that the most important ace in the hole which Secretary of State Dulles had been preparing for the President to use at the Geneva summit conference, scheduled to start on Monday, was a plan for the neutralization of Germany, one which ought satisfy the Soviet fears regarding a rearmed Germany as well as those of the French to the same effect, while also taking Chancellor Konrad Adenauer off the hook in his struggle to build up a German army. He indicates that it was why Chancellor Adenauer was conveniently vacationing nearby in Switzerland, not far from Geneva, where he could be consulted at any time about the discussions at the summit conference.

The Russians also were working on a solution for the German problem, which was not far from that of Mr. Dulles, but would go much further, although probably not to be entirely presented at Geneva. They wanted a Pan-Slav Federation, reminiscent of the days of the czars, a union including the Slavic peoples of Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and, perhaps later, Yugoslavia. The Soviets would likely present at Geneva the idea of releasing from the Iron Curtain Hungary, a non-Slavic nation, with also the probable release of the German part of Czechoslovakia, an attempt to win over the Germans.

The President's ideas regarding reunification of Germany had been expressed briefly at a secret conference with members of Congress just before departing for Geneva, in which he stated, in response to questions, that Russia would not withdraw its troops from East Germany unless the U.S. were to withdraw its troops from West Germany. The plan of Secretary Dulles was to do exactly that, with East Germany to become a buffer state possessing no armaments. He believed it would satisfy Russian fears of having a militarized Germany on its western borders and might also supply the political key for disarmament.

At the secret meeting, Senators Styles Bridges of New Hampshire and Earle Clements of Kentucky wanted to know what the U.S. position would be if any Far Eastern issues were raised at the conference, with the President replying that the U.S. would not discuss anything about the Far East unless Far Eastern allies were present, but stated also that he intended to take someone from the Far Eastern desk to Geneva, though never explaining why that would be needed if there was no intent to discuss the Far Eastern issues.

Walter Lippmann tells of British Prime Minister Anthony Eden having made a speech the previous week, in which he had said that the West wanted a united Germany within the NATO system, but was prepared to negotiate regarding guarantees to reassure the Soviet Union. Moscow had been aware that it represented the Western position, and Pravda, the same day, printed an article rejecting German unification inside NATO. On Tuesday of the current week, the Kremlin had backed that up with an official statement.

He regards the question as being why, after going to a great deal of trouble to arrange a secret meeting at the highest level, the two sides had chosen to make public statements of how incompatible their positions on German reunification were. Mr. Lippmann indicates that he could think of only one reasonable explanation, that they knew they could not agree presently on German reunification and so wanted the world to know it before the Geneva summit meeting began.

He indicates that the public exchange did not disclose all of the reasons why the four powers could not agree presently on German reunification. It could only be achieved after a settlement of the German-Polish frontier issue, and the Western proposals, as outlined by Mr. Eden, were silent on the subject of those frontiers, with the Soviet reply also being silent on the issue. Neither proposal was entirely serious, as both sides were aware that neither proposal was acceptable to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Even if the Soviets had agreed to the plan set forth by Mr. Eden, Dr. Adenauer could not sign a treaty which renounced the German claim to the lost territories, and the West could not agree to the Soviet plan for a weak Germany confined within the frontiers established at Potsdam in July, 1945.

He finds that the two positions made public during the previous week were not only incompatible with one another, but that each was inherently impossible as both were based on the outdated premise that it was still possible for the four victors to make a German settlement. The four-power agreement, based on the Potsdam frontiers, would have to have been imposed on a reunited Germany, but West Germany was presently a great European power and a settlement could not be imposed upon it, and no free and democratic German government could survive if it agreed to the Potsdam frontiers.

After West Germany had regained its sovereignty and was admitted to NATO during the prior spring, it was evident that the two principal powers regarding Germany would be the West German Government and Moscow. Chancellor Adenauer had made it clear during his visit to the U.S. in the spring that his policy was to be armed by the U.S. and then, with the loyal support of the whole Western alliance led by the U.S., to negotiate a German settlement with the Soviets. He believed that within two or three years, when there was a German Army within NATO, his position would be strong enough to obtain reunification with much better frontiers than those established at Potsdam. It thus followed that he neither expected nor desired serious negotiations about Germany at the present time.

Mr. Lippmann indicates that there were also strong reasons to believe that the Soviets intended only to negotiate with the Germans regarding German reunification. The Soviets had issued an invitation to Chancellor Adenauer to come to Moscow to arrange for normal diplomatic relations, and all Soviet actions since a Berlin meeting of 1954 had indicated that the Soviets only wished to negotiate with West Germany regarding Germany, not with the U.S. or other Western powers. But neither side appeared ready to negotiate at present, with Chancellor Adenauer wanting first to have a German Army, to take about three years, and the Soviets waiting for the demise of the aging Chancellor Adenauer, confident that they could deal more successfully with his successor. The problem of the other Western allies was how to avoid being excluded and disregarded when the German-Soviet direct negotiations would eventually take place. The best hope, Mr. Lippmann believes, appeared to lie in working out in the near future an all-European security agreement, some type of all-European political community, within which Germany as a whole would be embedded, and on that point, the Soviets appeared to be ready to negotiate with the other Western allies. He concludes that it was of utmost importance, however, for neither the Germans nor the Russians to have an entirely free hand in their inevitable direct negotiations.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that labor legislation, which had not been at the forefront in the 1955 session of Congress, would return to the spotlight in 1956 following the merger between CIO and AFL, with groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Grange and the National Economic Council already viewing with concern the prospect of the merged 16-million member labor organization. Friends of labor predicted increased efforts to add new legislative restrictions on organized labor at both the Federal and state levels.

The top issues at stake might become the role of labor unions in political campaigns. Unions, as such, were prohibited from making campaign contributions by the Federal Corrupt Practices Act, and the law apparently also sanctioned contributions by political affiliates with separate funds for the purpose. But the CIO's Political Action Committee and AFL's Labor's League for Political Education, though contributing substantial sums in recent campaigns, chiefly to Democratic nominees, had not been disturbed thus far by the law.

Earlier in the year, the Wisconsin Legislature had passed a law modeled on the Corrupt Practices Act but designed to ban effectively all labor campaign spending. According to the LLPE, that law would doom it and similar groups, and could become a model for similar legislation in other states. Both the Ohio and Michigan legislatures had considered but had not passed similar measures during the year. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana and Texas already had such laws. The constitutionality of the Wisconsin law would be challenged in the courts, according to the counsel for the CIO.

Currently, Republicans in Congress were drafting a substitute measure for a Democratic-sponsored bill to revise the Corrupt Practices Act, with the Republican version expected to tighten the provision regarding labor campaign spending, similar to that of the Wisconsin law. Action on the legislation was not anticipated prior to adjournment of the Congressional session and it was doubtful that Congress would act on another measure sponsored by Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, which would give to the states the right to regulate strikes, picketing and boycotts. Union officials, however, expected a renewed effort to pass that bill the following year, as well as efforts to pass "right to work" laws in additional states. Senator Goldwater had stated that those laws would unquestionably be one of the issues in the 1956 presidential campaign.

With the addition of Utah during the current year, 18 states now had "right to work" laws, banning labor contracts which required union membership. Authority for such laws had been included in the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Both CIO and AFL had attacked such laws as schemes to wreck organized labor. The National Right to Work Committee, headed by former Representative Fred Hartley, one of the co-sponsors of the original Taft-Hartley law, was pushing for enactment by other states of right to work laws, saying that Americans had to have the right but must not be compelled to join labor unions.

A letter writer from Gastonia, who appears to be a textile worker, wants to know why some people believed cotton mill people were not as good as other people, that if someone asked where one worked and the response was that it was in a cotton mill, they looked down their noses at the individual. He wants to know where people thought their cotton dresses or white shirts came from and why cotton mill workers had to work for lower pay, that those who worked by the hour did not even earn a dollar per hour. He believes it would be even harder on the textile workers after the textile companies began buying products from Japan because of lowered tariffs. He hopes that in 1956, someone would run for office who would keep his word, that "they make big promises and do nothing, just like they do about the Negro." He believes that they would promise blacks everything to get their votes and then forget them after they had won. He says he did not blame blacks for wanting a nicer living and nicer schools, but that they should work for it like white people did. He concludes that everyone should look at the goods before buying them and that they should not buy anything from Japan.

A letter writer who had written earlier letters seeking to justify segregation on the basis of the Bible, attempts to reply to the several letters which had replied to him. He says that some people were "drifting too far from the shore", that he believed in God's plan, urges looking at God's earth and God's people and then asks whether they saw any of God's trees, any of God's birds or any of God's animals mixing, that no animal had mixed of its own accord with other animals. He asks, "Didn't man mix our stock?" He says that a mule had been the result of a man-made animal, but that God had entered into the arrangement so that neither the male nor the female mule could produce offspring. "When the mockingbird and sparrow mate, the goat and the sheep, the dogs with the cats, turkeys with chickens, then I will know God has changed His plan and I will be one of the first to change to that plan. Until then, I'll fight this rotten integration mess as long as there is breath in my body and the circulating blood of a white person in my veins, and will say amen."

Does that mean that you would, in such case, mate with the sparrow, the sheep, the cats and the chickens? In any event, ol' Lesta mixes turkey with chicken and so maybe you betta refrain, afta all, from goin' on down 'eya, as it might upset you more than you already are. Lesta may not believe in as thorough seg'egation as he professes. Faw ev'ry chicken and ev'ry turkey has both the white and the dark meat. The dark is how you get the beat, from the drumsticks. And if only man created the ass, why does every living creature, save perhaps the single-celled amoeba, have one? You need to think out your thesis a little betta.

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