The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 2, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, chairman of the Internal Security subcommittee, had stated late the previous day that he accepted the word of the New York Times that no security violation had been involved in its publication of a story during the Korean War that the Air Force had been using F-86 Sabre jets, that while his subcommittee had never charged any such security violation, he was glad to make the statement in the interest of fairness. The story had been written in 1950 by Charles Grutzner, a reporter for the Times who had acknowledged at a subcommittee hearing the prior Thursday that he had been a Communist between 1937 and 1940, among a dozen former employees of the now-defunct Brooklyn Eagle, who had been named by CBS correspondent Winston Burdette as people he had known as fellow Communists during that period of time. Mr. Grutzner had testified that he had become fed up with Communism and had quit the party just before he joined the staff of the Times. During the latter's testimony, Senator Eastland had stated that he believed that the story disclosing that Sabres had been in action during the war had been helpful to the Communists, but that the Times and the newsman involved had stated that the Pentagon had cleared it for publication. He said that the Defense Department had been unable thus far to determine from its own records whether the statement had been cleared for publication, but Senator Eastland, nevertheless, said that he would accept the word of the Times that Austin Stevens of its Washington staff had obtained the clearance from Jack Shea, then a civilian member of the Air Force press desk, that the Senator had no reason to doubt the truth of those statements.

Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, predicted this date in an interview that Congress soon would give the President the type of military reserve program which he wanted, that he anticipated no trouble in the Senate on a measure which would expand the 700,000-man reserve to a trained force of 2.9 million men by 1960. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated that a subcommittee soon would begin hearings on the bill. The House had passed the bill the previous day by voice vote, breaking a six-week impasse regarding an anti-segregation rider which had been attached to the bill earlier, after being introduced by Representative Adam Clayton Powell of New York, passing earlier, causing the bill to be shelved to avoid defeat. But in the meantime, he had lost support for the rider and it had been defeated the previous day on the floor by a vote of 156 to 105 after Representative Powell had introduced the amendment to deny draft exemption to National Guard volunteers who joined segregated units.

In Memphis, it was reported that the city had decided to build its own 100 million dollar power plant rather than accept power from the Dixon-Yates utility combine, as discussed further in an editorial below. Meanwhile, in light of that decision, the Eisenhower Administration, which had been backing the Dixon-Yates contract, said that it would be re-appraise the contract. The previous day, the Senate Appropriations Committee had voted to withhold funds for a power line to link Dixon-Yates with the TVA power grid, provided Memphis showed a definite commitment within 90 days to build the plant. Democratic leaders proclaimed that the Dixon-Yates agreement was therefore doomed.

In Pittsburgh, U.S. Steel Corp., which had agreed the previous day to an average 15-cent per hour wage increase for its employees to break the 12-hour long nationwide steel strike, announced that it was increasing its prices by about $7.50 per ton. Within a few hours after the strike had ended the previous day, the industry's "Big Six" steel companies, Bethlehem, Republic, Jones & Laughlin, Youngstown Sheet & Tube and Inland, had followed suit with similar agreements for their employees. They also indicated that they would increase their prices. In consequence, consumers would soon pay more for products made from steel. The president of U.S. Steel said that the price hike was not entirely the result of the wage increase, that other factors, such as increased taxes and new construction, also contributed.

In Rotterdam, it was reported that one of the peculiarities of Reverend Billy Graham's worldwide ministry was that it reached the Queen on her throne, the bum in the gutter and ordinary individuals in between, that few men in history had been so blessed with such an ability. During recent months, Rev. Graham had received invitations from former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Eisenhower, Queen Elizabeth, ambassadors and statesmen, most of the talks having been in private, Mr. Graham revealing that they were centered around the Bible, as were his talks with a Glasgow taxi driver, a Paris newspaperman and a German business executive. During the current week, he had spoken with Queen Juliana and Princess Wilhelmina of Holland. But former King Farouk of Egypt, who said he was broke, refused to see Rev. Graham when the latter had offered to tell him of the new life offered by Christ, the rejection delivered by an aide of the deposed King when an aide of Mr. Graham had knocked on his door to find out whether the two could meet.

The traffic toll thus far for the Fourth of July weekend was running higher this date than that reported for the same period of time the previous year. By noon, there had been reported 52 traffic deaths since 6:00 p.m. Friday at the start of the 72-hour weekend, ten more than for the same time period during 1954, and the overall accident death toll had reached 72, with nine drownings and 11 miscellaneous deaths by accident, none attributed to fireworks. The National Safety Council had estimated that 380 persons would be killed in automobile accidents by the conclusion of the weekend Monday night. In the non-holiday weekend of June 17-20, an Associated Press survey had shown that 342 persons had died in traffic accidents, that 111 had drowned and that 62 had suffered violent miscellaneous deaths by accident, for a total of 515. The previous year, the three-day holiday weekend had taken a toll of 623 lives, 348 in traffic accidents, 192 by drowning and 83 in miscellaneous accidents, including four from fireworks. The record overall toll for any Fourth of July holiday had been set in the four-day holiday of 1950, when 792 had died. The National Safety Council estimated that 40 million automobiles would be on the highways during the holiday weekend and that the period of greatest peril would be near the end, when motorists, tired from hours of traveling, were returning home on crowded highways.

Lamar Caudle of Wadesboro, N.C., the former head of the tax division of the Justice Department during the Truman Administration, told the News this date that there had been a "conspiracy" to get rid of him in Washington after it became evident that he would have to investigate some prominent people in tax matters.

In Clovis, N.M., a district court jury had awarded an Arizona cattleman more than $10,000 in damages for his losses in a poker game the previous December 2-3. He had also claimed an additional $20 for losses in a shuffleboard game, but the jury had declined to award that amount. The defendants admitted that they had engaged in the poker game with the plaintiff, but offered as their defense that the plaintiff was not the loser.

In Detroit, a man from Pulaski, Tenn., was held for investigation for malicious destruction of property, after police stated that he dove through a ground floor window of a modernistic city-county building the previous day, the man telling police that he "just had an urge" because they did not have such pretty buildings in Pulaski and he had never seen a window so big, decided that he "just had to hop through it". The window cost $250. The man, a railway worker, said that it would take a lot of gandy dancing to raise the money, but that it had been worth it to him. He had suffered a three-inch gash on his hand from jumping through the window.

In Downey, Calif., a man said that a hose which he had bought was acting like a snake, having burrowed itself into the lawn, continuing to go deeper into the ground such that no one could pull it out, despite the fact that the water had not been turned on. The more people tried to pull it out, the deeper it sank into the lawn. The owner, a doctor, had attached the end of it to the bumper of his car and pulled it in low gear, but the hose only stretched and then snapped near the faucet. To compound the mystery, the hose had sunk another 18 inches into the ground. The owner had tied it to the faucet the previous night but found this date that it had gone two feet deeper into the ground and was bending the faucet, was now 13 feet in the ground. There were no underground wells or trace of any water action causing the problem and the water table was 120 feet below the surface. The owner said that he did not think anyone was playing a trick on him. A geologist at the California Institute of Technology said that he could not explain the phenomenon, but that if it were his hose, he would start digging and find out what was going on at the other end. The owner was considering letting the hose go and purchasing a sprinkler system. Meanwhile, the neighborhood was agog and the constantly ringing phone of the owner was driving the family to distraction.

On the editorial page, "Why Increase Sewer Service Charges?" tells of a 24-cent increase being proposed from the current rate for municipal taxes of $1.65 and that City Council member Herbert Baxter had proposed to trim nine or ten cents from the proposed tax rate by doubling sewer service charges, which it finds was not a just solution to the dilemma.

Since water and sewer service were necessities, they should be provided cheaply and not as a means to produce additional revenue. While Mr. Baxter's interest in spreading the tax burden was commendable, it suggests that it would not be fair to tax on the basis of the ability to pay a sewer tax based on a percentage of the consumer's water bill.

It thinks the wiser course would be to retain control of all important governmental functions and not create an independent city-county water and sewer authority, so that the voters could do something about it if matters were not handled properly. It urges the Council to continue to seek new sources of revenue and to investigate ways to reduce the tax rate, but not to accept Mr. Baxter's proposal.

"New Element in the Power Fight" discusses the Dixon-Yates utility combine controversy, in which the city of Memphis had introduced a new element by being willing to build its own power plant, eliminating the need for the Dixon-Yates plant, ultimately an issue between public and private power.

It finds the Memphis decision to demonstrate local initiative operating against private power, busting the myth that the city and the company were blood brothers fighting an evil attack by big Government and public power as embodied in TVA. But local initiative had to be forced into action and so it could also be said that TVA was providing Memphis a service which it should have already been providing for itself.

Practicality had received little attention in the political war over the issue, between "socialist planners" on the one side, and "greedy capitalists" on the other. It finds that there were some of each on both sides of the issue, but that the proper place for public power ought be determined by practical considerations, such as need, ability and economy, not based on philosophy. If private power could not or would not supply power to undeveloped areas, it should be done by the Federal Government, and if an area could care for itself without the Federal subsidy supplied by cheap public power, then it also should be done, either by buying power from private firms or building its own public power plant.

It finds that since Memphis had taken away the need for the Dixon-Yates power to replace that being provided by TVA to atomic installations elsewhere, it appeared wise for the President to shelve the project as it had served its purpose, bringing about what appeared to be a fair, even if forced, compromise.

"Another Dreary Year of the Draft" indicates that again Congress had extended the draft act and refused to face the cold war reality that military service had to be more than a temporary part of national life. The draft was full of inequities and uncertainties and, it finds, a sensible alternative would be a system of universal military training whereby American youth would know where they stood, how long and when they would have to serve, enabling plans for education, business and personal life. It would also ensure a large trained reserve.

But adopting that system would mean admission by Congress that military service had become a necessity for modern Americans, and the Congress stubbornly refused to do so.

"Yoo-Hoo! Here We Are Down Here" indicates that it might be a shock to the New York Times, but Charlotte had not moved to Greensboro, that the Times had suggested that it was located somewhere around Guilford County, not very far from the Virginia state line, in a newspaper map illustrating a story on segregation.

It finds it preposterous, that, admittedly, Charlotte had always toyed with the idea of annexing Greensboro, but that its "gaudy neighbor—still a little wet behind the ears, if you ask us" was not yet ready to become part of a great metropolis. Greensboro would remain a nice place for Charlotte to visit, but it begs the Times to recognize that they would not wish to live there.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Jazz for Comrade Dunayevsky", indicates that it was glad to welcome into the ranks of the hep cats Comrade Isaak Dunayevsky, a popular Russian composer who had written the theme song for the Soviet radio network and indited ardently of jazz in Sovietskaya Muzyka, the publication of the Union of Soviet Composers and the Soviet Ministry of Culture. He did not dig the jazz lingo, but spoke of the longtime Soviet ban on jazz as being the result of "dogmatism", "narrowmindedness" and "orthodoxy".

It finds that there was a broad mindedness about a trumpet solo by Louis Armstrong, that there could be nothing less dogmatic than a piano performance by Fats Waller, and that blues singer Bessie Smith was "unorthodox". But jazz, it posits, was more than those rather staid qualities, such that it hardly seemed worthwhile to start a description of it with them.

"Jazz is illegitimate, profane and anarchistic—and don't think it hasn't had a hard time staying that way all these years. If the law descends upon it, the best advice to Comrade Dunayevsky or anyone else remains that of the aforementioned Maestro Waller in his vocal contribution to one of his piano divertissements, 'Don't give your right name—no, no, no.'"

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator McCarthy had made many trips from the Senate floor to the Senate cloakroom during the debate which had crushed him with a 77 to 4 vote against his attempt to tie the President's hands at the Big Four summit conference by requiring him to deal with the satellite issue of Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Senator McCarthy had been upset at the criticism from his old friends, such as Senators Homer Capehart of Indiana and Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, and had to go to the cloakroom to let off steam. He was most crushed by the desertion by Senator Herman Welker of Idaho, dubbed the "Little McCarthy", one of Senator McCarthy's closest friends. Yet, he had voted against the Senator's resolution as he was scared regarding his chances for re-election, with the Idaho Power Co. getting ready to abandon him and nominate another in his stead, despite the fact that Senator Welker parroted the company line in opposing construction of a Government big dam at Hell's Canyon, the company nevertheless not approving of the Senator's other activities, embarrassing to the President. Thus, Senator Welker did not want to embarrass the President further. Now, Senator McCarthy had told friends that he and Senator Welker were no longer on speaking terms.

Labor leaders in Idaho had notified former Democratic Senator Glen Taylor that if he were to run again, they would not support him, believing that he had forfeited his professional political standing when he had run for the vice-presidency on the Progressive Party ticket with former Vice-President Henry Wallace in 1948.

Stewart Alsop, in Moscow, tells of Dmitri T. Shepilov, editor and publisher of Pravda, during an interview, angrily denying that he was the probable successor to V. M. Molotov as Soviet Foreign Minister, branding it "irresponsible speculation".

Mr. Alsop regards him as a member of the younger generation of Soviet leaders, knowing well the party line and speaking it, providing some insight into the state of mind of the newer generation. During the interview, he had dodged most questions regarding the coming Big Four summit conference, saying that they had been covered by Mr. Molotov's press conference in San Francisco, rendering the interview a long, doctrinal debate in which neither side could wholly understand the other.

He provides samples of the questions and answers, starting with the response that on the first day the main line of Soviet policy had been peaceful coexistence with all countries, in spite of differences in the social systems, by way of answering why the Soviets were always attacking the U.S. for a policy of "position of strength", when it was obvious that the Soviets favored a strong military position. Mr. Shepilov said that it was inevitable under the Soviet view that the capitalist system would be replaced by the socialist system, but that there would be no export of revolution. He said it was necessary to be strong to defend his country, but denied that it was a "policy of strength", with Mr. Alsop finding the distinction fuzzy. Mr. Shepilov said that they had no need to use their economic strength to impose their system on anybody, and when asked about the satellite countries, he had responded that it was "a cracked old record", and that it was impossible to believe that any people would tolerate any system against their will, suggesting that the Eastern European countries had adopted Communism of their own free will.

Regarding disarmament, he claimed that the U.S. did not really want to disarm and that, by contrast, the Soviets were absolutely sincere in their expressed desires, that they were prepared to establish a system of control sufficient for all needs, but that it was difficult to imagine more than their recent proposal for inspection in sports and railway lines.

Mr. Shepilov said that the Iron Curtain was really of American manufacture, with Mr. Alsop indicating that the "nonsense" of the late Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada and State Department security head Scott McLeod, had provided him some talking points.

When Mr. Alsop suggested that former Premier Georgi Malenkov might have been right about the hydrogen war destroying world civilization, Mr. Shepilov said that they believed that civilization would not die, that the more bases which the Americans established, the more quickly would capitalism die because the people would rise up against American imperialism.

Mr. Alsop indicates that the interview ended shortly thereafter, with many expressions of hope for better relations. He finds that the interview had served to underline at least one fact, that whatever change there might have been of late in Soviet policy, it was in no sense a basic or doctrinal change.

Mr. Shepilov would succeed Mr. Molotov a year hence as Foreign Minister but would be removed in February, 1957, in favor of Andrei Gromyko, after which he became Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee, until June of that year.

Doris Fleeson indicates that at the present point, as the end of the Congressional session neared, the President and Congress were jockeying for credit for that which had been accomplished, while blaming the other for the failures of accomplishment. The exchange between the President and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson was not quite as memorable as former President Truman's Turnip Day and snollygosters had been, but in the dull session of Congress, it was more than welcome. Republicans would be glad to see the President acting like a true Republican politician, and Democrats would be secretly pleased to see Senator Johnson reminded that while Texas loved the President, the President did not necessarily love Senator Johnson.

She indicates that an informed guess would be that Senator Johnson had irked the President during the week on two matters, one being the Senate's defeat of the atoms-for-peace merchant ship, a pet project of the President which he had told Republicans he must have, and the other being the Senator's jibe that the "political leader", that is the President, who had forecast a "cold war" in 1954 were a Democratic Congress elected, should send his "Madison Avenue speechwriters" to find a new definition of "cold war". She indicates that the President was sensitive about jokes regarding Madison Avenue, commonly used to describe the advertising agencies, the jest having begun when actor Robert Montgomery and advertising experts had moved into the White House to stage the President's telecasts.

At his most recent press conference, the President had put forth a list of things which Congress should have done but had not, though, except for the military reserve program and his ship, it was not too formidable. She finds it hard to believe that he was lying awake nights worrying about Hawaiian statehood, for instance.

Senator Johnson had responded that Congress was not composed of "second lieutenants". She indicates that, like former Senator Tom Connally of Texas, Senator Johnson was capable of biting sarcasm and could inflict wounds not easily forgotten.

She indicates that the President was naturally in a self-confident mood, that reporters who had accompanied him on the New England tour recently had described his ease as he met large and admiring crowds, a mood in contrast to his campaigning during 1952.

Former DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell had told a recent audience that the President loved "to run for office better than he likes running an office", and White House reporters agreed.

Late this date, incidentally, Senator Johnson would suffer a severe heart attack, laying him up in Bethesda Naval Hospital for a month, followed by a rest in Texas, not returning to Washington until December.

A letter writer tells of the dire need in the county for a Girl Scout camp, that her daughter was a devoted Scout who was in her third summer in camp. The local Scout organization had obtained Camp York in 1953 but had been unable to find a camp for their use and had urged their girls to apply to other camps. Her daughter was one of 20 who had found a camp, but there were more than 2,000 others who had not. She thinks that they would lose interest in scouting without the experience gained from a camp, that it took living with other girls in the outdoors to complete and complement the work done during the winter. She urges helping them.

A letter writer wants to know what the prefix "Dr." stood for in the name of a letter writer from Myrtle Beach, as she had been unable to find him in the current medical directories. She questions his suggestion that scurvy was prevalent in the modern era, that in 17 years of working for qualified medical doctors in various parts of the country, she had not run across one single case of it. She also takes issue with his rhetorical question regarding who was to pay the bill for the poor man's children regarding the polio vaccine, stating that if he had access to the files of all of the physicians in the country, he would discover that it was usually the hard-working doctors who absorbed the cost for the poor man's children.

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