The Charlotte News

Friday, July 22, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Geneva, the Big Four leaders were reported to be considering a possible summit session this night to permit more time for discussion of key problems, including President Eisenhower's dramatic proposal to trade military blueprints with Russia. Informed quarters stated that U.N. officials had been alerted to have the council chamber of the Palais des Nations ready for a possible night meeting. The President was reported to be committed to leaving the following evening for Washington despite the summit conference running far behind schedule. The four foreign ministers had gone back into session during the afternoon after a three-hour session during the morning had failed to complete final recommendations to the heads of state regarding any of the three problems under discussion. One informed source had said that the President's proposal had not been specifically mentioned at the morning meeting, indicating that Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov of Russia had not given any hint as to whether Russia would accept the plan or even promised to consider it. Some quarters had seen a possibility that the proposal might get shunted aside, along with other proposals on disarmament, German unification and European security, for discussion after the summit conference by the foreign ministers and diplomats. The four heads of state appeared to be aiming at setting up directives for the guidance of the foreign ministers' conference the following October, and for further discussions in the U.N. subcommittee on disarmament. The heads of state agreed to meet later to take up the recommendations made by the foreign ministers. French Premier Edgar Faure had circulated a draft resolution calling for a disarmament program under a joint East-West inspection and control system, the plan apparently attempting to combine his own budgetary control ideas with the plan of Prime Minister Anthony Eden for disarmament in a limited area of Europe and with President Eisenhower's call for new talks on an inspection system. The proposal of the President had two main points, that the U.S. and Russia exchange a complete blueprint of their military establishments and that the two nations provide each other facilities for photographing from the air all installations in each country—as further discussed in an editorial below. The President said that those proposals would just be a beginning until a "sound and reliable agreement" could be concluded on disarmament and the inspection and reporting system necessary to make it effective.

The House Education Committee this date approved by a vote of 22 to 8 a bill authorizing multibillion-dollar financial assistance to states and local communities for the construction of schools.The measures still had to clear the Rules Committee before it could go to the House floor, and there was no assurance that the Rules Committee would clear it, but Democratic House Whip, John McCormick of Massachusetts, listed it the previous day among the key measures for disposal before adjournment the following month. The bill did not contain the provisions sought by Representative Adam Clayton Powell of New York to deny Federal funds to states or school districts practicing racial segregation, a provision voted down on Wednesday after a name-calling session in which Congressman Powell and Representative Cleveland Bailey of West Virginia exchanged physical blows. Mr. Powell said that he would revive the segregation issue on the House floor. The bill also contained a controversial provision regarding labor standards in school construction, requiring that labor on all Federally assisted school projects be paid the "prevailing" wage in the locality, as determined by the Secretary of Labor, and that payment of at least time and a half be made for all overtime in excess of eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. The primary provision authorized a four-year 1.6 billion dollar program of Federal grants to the states on a dollar matching basis to finance new school buildings, the money to be allotted according to the ratio of a state's school-age population to the national school-age population, without other limitations. The President had proposed no more than a 200 million dollar matching grant program.

Good Luck to the Labor

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee this date announced that it would hold a public hearing on Monday on a resolution proposing U.S. participation in an Atlantic Union conference, with Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and others being sponsors of the resolution, which suggested an exploratory session. The hearing had been set for this date, but had been postponed.

In Bonn, West Germany, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's first rearmament bills for the buildup of West Germany's new 500,000-man defense force had won final parliamentary approval this date, with the upper house having quickly passed two bills authorizing the Government to call up the first volunteers during the year and creating a permanent civilian committee to screen the appointment of all senior officers, with the bills now going to the President for his signature, having been approved by the lower house the previous week. The bills permitted the Government to take the first steps toward building up the 12-division army, 1,300-plane jet air force and naval coastal defenses pledged to NATO. The coalition party of the Chancellor had soundly defeated the opposition Socialists in the upper house, despite an early quarrel with the Government over its plans to call up the first soldiers during the current year.

Charles Kuralt, in the last of a series of articles on aging for The News, indicates that Mecklenburg County's population of persons over 65 had increased by 100 in just the previous three months, that 20 of those, in desperate need, would soon be receiving Old Age Assistance from the Welfare Department. Thirty of them, retired by choice or by compulsion, would soon be getting Federal old age insurance payments, and 40 were being supported entirely by relatives, with ten able to meet their own needs with income or savings. Eighty of the 100 lived in the homes of relatives, while ten lived alone in their own houses or apartments, and five lived in boarding houses or with non-relatives. Three were confined to nursing homes and one to the Methodist Home, with one more in the County Home. In addition to those measurable things, there were immeasurable factors, the human things of the mind and heart which were not dealt with by the Census Bureau. Nobody really knew what the problems of the 11,000 older people were in terms of individual and social life, what their relationships were with their family and communities, their economic situation, what they thought about or that for which they hoped. But most of them were unemployed and many of them who were did not want to be. Many lived on the brink of financial insecurity and many were lonely and ignored. The problems of the aged, already acute, grew greater at the unprecedented rate of nearly 400 old people every year, and the challenge of the aging population was, first, the job of throwing away for good the out of date idea of placing older people on the scrapheap, while recognizing that the vast majority of the aged could still live productive lives, as they still had another 15 years of life expectancy beyond 65. Students of the aged proclaimed that neither society nor the economy could stand the strain of enforced idleness of retirement on the part of the growing proportion of the population. He indicates that the planning members of those under 65 had to prepare themselves for more than one job, if employment was terminated at 65 in their present job, that they had to develop hobbies which could help make old age profitable and enjoyable, that they had to form friendships and plan for recreation which could be carried into old age, that they had to begin systematic savings, in the form of investments, insurance, retirement programs and savings accounts, to provide a source of income when they finally stopped working, and had to develop better health habits for a healthy old age. The aggravating problems of urbanization increased the community's responsibility to old people and increased the responsibility of old people to themselves. Another challenge was that of strengthening facilities and services for the aged.

Julian Scheer of The News indicates that if one were a textile worker or a sawmill hand in North Carolina, one would not expect much of a pay increase after Congress might pass the proposed one dollar minimum wage. The House and Senate had agreed on that minimum wage for production employees of firms engaged in interstate commerce, and the President was expected to sign it into law after the conference committee agreed on a start date. Most North Carolinians employed in non-agricultural industries were presently earning an average hourly wage in excess of a dollar per hour. U.S. Labor Department figures indicated that 2.1 million workers in the country would be impacted with raises totaling 560 million dollars, with the South bearing the greatest load and some of it to be passed to North Carolina employers with employees covered by the minimum wage and hour laws. But generally, little direct financial impact would be expected in the Charlotte area and over North Carolina as a whole, while there would likely be a moderate, indirect effect in the area and probably throughout the state because of private increases for products brought into Charlotte from producers who had to raise wages by an average of a few cents per hour, with the greatest effect in the sawmill industry, apparel industry and men's seamless hosiery. Statistics showed that North Carolinians were getting close to or right at a dollar per hour in those industries. Mr. Scheer provides a breakdown of the official figures from the Labor Department for several North Carolina industries.

Donald MacDonald of The News indicates that City police had stated this date that an argument about New York subways had erupted the previous night, resulting in a fatal stabbing, the fourth homicide in Charlotte during the month. A 28-year old woman was the victim. The four killings were the most in any single month during the year, with nine homicides having occurred inside the city limits. The woman had been stabbed in the throat with a knife in the kitchen of a house, and a 31-year old woman was arrested for the stabbing, the assailant stating that she had gone to a neighbor's house to borrow a cup of sugar when the argument about New York subways had begun, with the assailant being told by the victim that she did not know what she was talking about and, according to the assailant, had been swung at by the victim twice before the stabbing, accomplished with a knife retrieved from a kitchen wall. The woman had fled the scene, called her mother and told her what happened, her mother then imploring her to turn herself in, which she then did. She was being held without bond on a charge of murder.

Ann Sawyer of The News, tells of 14 reduced-speed zones in Mecklenburg County having been changed as part of a general revision of speed zones by the State traffic engineer. You will want to read all about it.

In Bannon Harbor, Mich., it had cost an Air Force parachutist $15 to make a demonstration jump, after he said that his wallet containing $15 had popped out of his pocket as he hit the water in the jump at nearby Silver Beach.

In Long Beach, Calif., 15 finalists in the Miss Universe pageant were vying for the crown, with a reporter asking all 15 in the group for their choice as the winner, with it being practically unanimous that it should be Miss Sweden, who wore a bathing suit "as if it was sprayed on her."

In Burlington, N.C., the modern brick post office had wooden front doors which swelled in wet weather and were hard to open, in consequence of which, the postmaster, two years earlier, had sought to have them replaced with metal doors, a contract for which having been awarded in April, 1954, calling for completion of the job in July. But the contractors could not find the aluminum doors specified, and the order got lost in Federal red tape, until steel doors had been ordered in January and arrived in May, but were the wrong size and had to be returned for alteration, coming back during the current week, when they had been installed the previous day, it turning out, however, that they were two inches too long.

On the editorial page, "Charlotte's Strait Jacket: A Second Step" tells of the city having been fitted with a strait jacket by its railroads in the 1850's and only now was beginning to loosen the buckles, as work was scheduled to begin on September 6 on a long-awaited rail crossing designed to reroute Southern Railroad trains out of Charlotte's eastern section. It goes on to provide details and finds it a good start toward removing the strait jacket entirely.

"Arms Inspection Is Good Propaganda" tells of the President having proposed that the U.S. and Russia swap blueprints and permit air inspection of their military establishments, to which, it was reported, the Russians had listened in "stony silence", a reaction, it posits, which was likely neither surprising nor disappointing to the President. For were the Russians to agree, the U.S. would be bound to go through with the scheme and there was no guarantee that Congress, despite some members expressing their approval, or the public would accept the idea of having Russian planes flying over the U.S. or of trading military secrets, especially those related to atomic weapons.

Any possibility that such an exchange and inspection might occur would probably die with the Russian rejection of the plan. As a propaganda instrument, however, the proposal had more importance, with the expected Russian refusal placing them in the position of nixing a proposal from a U.S. President, who had ably communicated at Geneva the nation's longing for peace. Refusal would emphasize the "dark face" of Russian policies and cause the calculated campaign of Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev to demonstrate that the new Russian leaders really were democratic people, to be shown false.

It finds the proposal to be a formal extension of the only war preventive which currently was in operation, knowledge of the Russians that they could not win, and suggests that the President's proposal might remind the Soviets of that fact, but would not guarantee the end of the arms race unless there were a change in the Soviet attitude.

It suggests that the chief success thus far of the conference had been the willingness of the Big Four to smile and talk of peace, and that such, alone, was justification enough for the meeting, but was only superficial success, not substantive. The President's proposal also was only superficial, and the world was waiting for the Russians to show some sign of cooperation on the substance of the issues which divided the nations. While the conference had not been called to settle those substantive issues, there was always the possibility that if the Russians found Western alliances strong, they might change their tactics at the conference or in subsequent meetings of the foreign ministers. Thus far, however, there had been no public sign of such a change.

"Roses for the Sahara of Bozart" recalls that in 1920, H. L. Mencken had summed up the South by calling it the "Sahara of the Bozart", quoting him: "In all that Gargantuan paradise of the fourth-rate, there is not a single picture gallery worth going into, or a single orchestra capable of playing the nine symphonies of Beethoven, or a single opera house, or a single theater devoted to decent plays. Once you have counted James Branch Cabell … you will not find a single southern prose writer who can actually write…"

It indicates that while Mr. Mencken was aiming his remarks at the whole South, he might have been aiming them at North Carolina, which in 1920 had only dimly been aware of the beaux-arts. It had been particularly the case with painting and sculpture. From 1585, when John White executed his drawings of Indian life on Roanoke Island, to the mid-1920's, when the North Carolina Art Society was founded, North Carolinians exhibited notoriously little interest in art.

But since the 1920's, there had been change, such that the "Sahara" was now yielding "satisfying blossoms". There had been established the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, and during the current week, Dr. William Valentiner of Los Angeles, internationally known scholar, art critic and gallery administrator, had been elected its director. The museum would open on November 29-30, and would have on permanent display works of art valued at more than two million dollars, including canvases by Rubens, Reynolds, Rembrandt, Memling, Romney, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Guardi, Sully, Copley and Gainsborough.

It concludes that North Carolinians could be proud of their state art museum, as well as the galleries already attracting many visitors in Charlotte, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Asheville, Hickory, Greenville, Fayetteville and other communities across the state.

"Mencken's 'Sahara' may yet become a garden of roses."

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "The Criminal", indicates that farmers had paid about five million dollars in fines to the Federal Government for growing more than the law allowed, suggesting an hypothetical scenario in which a district attorney was bringing in a farmer before a judge on charges of growing wheat, and imagines the colloquy between the defendant, the district attorney and the judge. At the end of the case, the judge fined the man $100 for growing wheat and $1,000 for contempt of court for continuing to talk about his father and what he thought of the crop-control system.

Drew Pearson tells of the atomic scientists looking over the shoulders of the Big Four heads of state at the meeting in Geneva, in the hope that some agreement might eventually be reached to prevent the destruction of civilization through increasing nuclear technology for other than peaceful purposes. He indicates that those atomic scientists knew what few others did, that a nuclear war might set off a chain reaction which could burn up the atmosphere of the entire earth, that cobalt bombs, if released 100 miles from the Pacific Coast of the U.S., could wipe out all vegetation in a strip 500 miles wide across the entire country, that Russia had detonated a dozen or more nuclear weapons, that the President, the previous May, had suppressed the fact that Russia had exploded a hydrogen weapon just as powerful as that detonated by the U.S. at Bikini, that Russia had secret bases near the Franz Josef Islands inside the Arctic Circle, from which it could launch guided missiles capable of reaching any American city, that guided missiles capable of speeds over 3,000 mph could reach between New York and Moscow in two hours, with no effective defense available against them, that when a hydrogen warhead could be perfected for those missiles, Moscow or New York could be blown completely away, that man, in his desperate desire to protect himself and his "fiendish desire to kill others", already had devised preliminary plans for stationing rocket platforms or bases in outer space. The scientists also were aware that satellites had been devised which could orbit the earth at a speed of 17,000 mph, to serve as watchdogs against guided missiles.

He concludes that all of that represented how far man had progressed since Hannibal's time in devising instruments to exterminate himself.

He indicates that as a young newsman, he had accompanied Secretary of State Frank Kellogg in 1928 during the Presidency of Calvin Coolidge, when the attempt was made to outlaw war by the Kellogg-Briand Pact signed in Paris. Secretary Kellogg had realized the horrors of war and had negotiated a treaty to outlaw it, but lacked two important ingredients, the bargaining power to make other countries relinquish their weapons of war, and world realization that another war meant the end of the world. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, who had preceded Secretary Kellogg, had thrown away the chief bargaining chip which the U.S. had at the time, battleships, junking them for a treaty which meant great political hay but lost the power for the country to force disarmament on other nations.

Now, the U.S. had that power with its stockpile of atomic bombs, which, Mr. Pearson opines, should not be given up. And the world now realized, including perhaps Kremlin leaders, that modern war would mean the end of mankind. "So perhaps the atomic scientists who, looking over the Big Four's shoulders here, urge that we outlaw war aren't so far off base after all."

A letter from the executive secretary of the Atlantic Union Committee, Justin Blackwelder, tells of John Knight believing that if, as a citizen of the United States, one believed in preserving the country's independence, the person should be wary of the Atlantic Union Committee and other "globally-minded visionaries." He indicates that the Committee had proposed that the U.S. and six other Western democracies send delegates to a convention to explore whether it would be possible or desirable for their countries to unite more closely. The Committee proposed that instead of diplomats, whose decisions bound their governments, there should be an assembly of some of the best minds from the principal democracies as citizens representing themselves only and with no power to bind their governments, able thereby to examine chosen propositions and reach such conclusions as appeared reasonable, with only the power of recommendation. Mr. Knight had said that those distinguished Americans were "globally minded", but Mr. Blackwelder suggests that the time had come when the only alternative to being "globally minded" was to be globally blind. He questions whether people would wait until American cities would be obliterated by atomic bombs. The Committee was merely trying to find a way to establish peace, and, he suggests, Mr. Knight would be welcome to attend the proposed convention and explain to the delegates why it would be better for them "to go down separately rather than to survive together." He says that if Mr. Knight could prove his case, he had nothing to fear from such a convention.

A letter writer from Kings Mountain indicates that certain critics who believed that there could not possibly be divine revelation or inspiration, miracle or prophecy, were convinced that the Bible was being wrongly interpreted by those who accepted such propositions. He cites some passages of the Bible regarding the length of a day, whether 24 hours or 1,000 years, concludes that while it would perhaps be untrue to say that science demonstrated the truth of the Biblical story of creation, one could say that it presented no insuperable obstacle to the acceptance of the narrative when properly interpreted.

A letter writer who remains anonymous indicates that several days earlier, a letter had been written to the newspaper by a black former G.I. who complained about people debating integration, saying that he was not as good as a dog, for at least a dog slept in the white man's house. This writer asks whether that writer had gone to Korea to fight for his homeland or to obtain the right to sleep in the home of the white man. "He neglects to realize that they have been given all the advantages but have cast them aside like trash. Have they no schools, churches of their choice, movies, cafés, swimming pools, etc.?" The writer says that he was "quite fond of quite a few colored people" and would gladly prove it if proof were needed. He says all they asked was that "they not push their rights too far, after all 100 years or so ago they were brought here as slaves, and they took it a lot better and with more respect than those who are refused entrance to white schools and the front seat of a city bus. They are free now, to pray, learn, and indulge in public entertainment as much as anybody, but have you ever seen it to fail that some Negro cuts up another at the slightest provocation?" He thinks that if they acted like humans instead of headhunters, they would be more respected.

A letter writer wonders when the Supreme Court would bring those to court and trial for using the churches, schools, courts, health department and every department of the government which was supported by the taxes, in violation of the law and the Bible, "to carry on their dictatorial system with their racial-class discrimination." She indicates that they were tired of their insults, slander and disrespect of the law. "The Supreme Court has all of their defiances of the law, and their insults of the court of law and knows that they are going to carry on their racial and class system and their discrimination." She indicates that it was time that the Court brought them to trial, that they should be sued for everything they were worth and "the full penalty for their crime against the law and the teachings of the Bible."

A letter from A. W. Black responds to a letter which had cited "This Week" on July 10, to the effect that recent discovery of 220 ancient towns in the Negev proved that archaeology agreed with the mythology and legend of Genesis. He indicates that if the writer had checked a geographical map of the region, the writer would have discovered that the Negev had merely been a grazing region a few miles south of Hebron and that there were not, in the time of Abraham, 220 towns in that region to be destroyed, thus making the quotation both exaggerated and unreliable. He finds that archaeological discovery of some ancient hamlets in the region did not prove that the ruins were the consequence of the supposed anti-Chedorlaomer rebellion, that long before Abraham, kings had made conquest of the same territory and plagues had caused abandonment of towns which eventually fell into ruin, that archaeological discoveries thus far did not authenticate the Abraham-Chedorlaomer legend of Genesis.

A letter from Dorothy Knox, formerly of The News, congratulates the newspaper on its series of articles on old age by Charles Kuralt, finds them excellent, suggests that being gainfully employed was the most important answer to aging, not only for the community but for the morale of individuals. She indicates that for a couple of years, she had been seeking to interest some of the numerous professional and business women's clubs to open a part-time employment bureau for women over 40, and suggests that a similar club for men would also be of great benefit to the community. She indicates that Ethel Sloop deserved great credit for organizing the "Over 40 Club" to promote the hiring of older persons, that she had attended the first meeting of 50 or more men and women and was struck by the potential of the group, all of them appearing to be healthy, intelligent, amiable, sincere, reliable and adaptable.

A letter writer, who remains anonymous, agrees with a previous letter writer who suggested that only because a hired police officer had been convicted of assault during the recent strike by the Southern Bell Telephone Co. workers, should not have disqualified him from being a law enforcement officer, suggesting that any average person would have acted likewise in court, rather than spending a large sum of money in his own defense, when he was only fined $10 plus costs. He believes that the officer, who was fired when the arrest came to light, was more offended than offender. He indicates that according to the report, the man had been threatened and the threat had been recorded, that it was shown in the recent Communications Workers of America strike the lengths to which labor would go to force their demands, finds the episode another example of the prejudicial influence and power of organized labor, indicates that it was time for the right of a person to earn an honest living to be protected without having to buy that right to work by joining a union. He wishes more power to the fired police officer.

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