The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 23, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Geneva that the Big Four leaders had agreed this date on all points before them and would wind up their business at a plenary session this night, according to White House press secretary James Hagerty. There was no immediate word on the exact nature of the agreement, which had emerged from a previous deadlock.

An Associated Press piece indicates that the conference had proved to be just like the meetings at lower levels in one critical respect, that there had been a final clash of interests in the closing hours of the meeting, in which Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, according to Western officials, had played a key part in prompting. Despite all of the politeness and friendly words, the heads of state of the Western powers and Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin had developed throughout the week a series of antagonistic positions. The heads of state assigned to their foreign ministers the tedious tasks of getting down to brass tacks, and the previous day and night, the foreign ministers had reached loggerheads over the problems. Their overall job had been to prepare a set of orders which the heads of state could then jointly issue to them for further negotiation in the coming months, when the foreign ministers would meet in October. The latter had to determine whether they would go to work first on the problem of unifying Germany, as the Western Big Three heads of state had proposed, or whether they would begin with their proposals for creating a new European security system, as Premier Bulganin had insisted. The decision would determine where the talks would end up.

Senators Richard Russell of Georgia, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Milton Young of North Dakota said this date that if Russia moved to lower the Iron Curtain, as proposed by the President, the U.S. ought consider shipping the Soviets needed food supplies. Senator Russell said that he would continue to oppose shipping of strategic materials to Russia but said that the U.S. could send cotton goods, butter and other food products. Senator Young said that if the Russian attitude continued as it was and there was a change for the better in international relations, there was no reason why the U.S. should not exchange nonstrategic materials with them. Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, however, said that he believed such trade ought start only after the Soviets agreed to withdraw from the satellite countries and not seek to spread Communism throughout the world. Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin said that he believed that if there were a free exchange of ideas between East and West, the results might lead to peace. If the average Russian, he continued, could be brought to recognize the significance of the hydrogen bomb and its terrible threat of fallout, he would see that to apply the law of self-preservation, the nations would have to be friends. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas said that he believed the cordial tone of the conference was important. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota said that he approved of the way the President had been using the conference for a "sounding board or forum", which he believed ought be done at every conference. Vice-President Nixon said the previous day that the President had a "forum unequaled in history … to point out to the world that the United States wants peace, not war."

In Rome, Premier Antonio Segni's NATO-allied coalition Government was firmly in power this date, following Senate endorsement of the new Cabinet's policies, the upper house having voted 121 to 100 the previous night to approve the left-of-center Christian Democrat Premier, an expert on land reform, while the Chamber of Deputies had approved the Government on Tuesday by a vote of 293 to 265. The Premier said that the 20,000 American troops, who had to withdraw from Austria by the end of October, would be welcome in Italy, drawing shouts of protests from the Communists. He denied repeated Communist charges that U.S. Ambassador Clare Boothe Luce meddled in Italy's internal affairs.

The Senate Investigations subcommittee met behind closed doors this date, with the Senators disagreeing as to how far to carry their investigation of Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott based on alleged conflicts of interest with outside businesses. Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota contended in advance of the session that the subcommittee had become a "leak factory and a smear machine", victimizing the Air Force Secretary without anyone actually having made a charge against him. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, in a speech before the Senate, demanded that the Secretary be cleared out of the Government to remove a "bad odor" from the Washington scene. At issue was the Secretary's status as a special partner in Paul B. Mulligan and Co. of New York, which dealt with Air Force contracts. Secretary Talbott had offered to quit that company.

In Washington, former Secretary of State under FDR, Cordell Hull, died at the age of 83. He had been called by many "the father of the United Nations". He had suffered a stroke the previous March 26 in his hotel apartment and since had been confined to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, where he had another stroke the previous day. He had a cerebral thrombosis in 1951 and was then desperately ill for many months, but had since made a good recovery and had left the hospital to live in his hotel. His wife had died in March, 1954. Funeral services would be held at Washington's National Cathedral the following Tuesday morning and burial would be in the Cathedral Cemetery, where his wife was also buried. He had been Secretary of State longer than any other person in the nation's history, from March, 1933 to November, 1944, when he was succeeded by the late Edward Stettinius. His record in the office still stands. Mr. Hull was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 in recognition of his efforts to develop a plan to banish war, leading to the creation of the U.N.

In London, the 50th anniversary conference of the Baptist World Alliance had closed the previous night with an appeal by evangelist Billy Graham to remain true to the Baptist faith, the Reverend Graham speaking to 45,000 persons in Arsenal Stadium, indicating that the ensuing five years might be "the most tragic or the most glorious in history." He urged his listeners to remain orthodox and simple, to practice evangelism and humanitarianism and strengthen the church.

In New Orleans, Louisiana Republicans the previous night organized a "Louisiana Wants Ike" committee, and said that it was the nation's first statewide movement to draft the President to run again in 1956.

In Raleigh, the Wake County Board of Education announced the previous day that beginning in September, 1956, it would not use race or color as a basis for assigning children to public schools, seeking to meet the Brown v. Board of Education implementing decision of May 31. The attorney for the Board said that they did not expect many applications from black students for admission to white schools, as the black people were proud of their school facilities. He said that the county had spent a lot of money on both black and white school facilities and that the Board believed that everyone was satisfied with them, that no one appeared to be agitating for any change at present. Parents could apply for a transfer for their child from the school to which they had been assigned for the school year starting in 1956. The State superintendent of education, Charles Carroll, said that in addition to the move by the Raleigh Board, school boards in Charlotte, Asheville and Greensboro had set up committees to study problems resulting from Brown. The decision by the Wake County Board had been unanimous. A study of the problem would be continued by the Board and the school committees during the coming school year.

Near McDonald, Tenn., two soldiers on furlough from Fort Bragg had been killed the previous day when their car had overturned on U.S. Highway 11. Two others in the car were injured.

High temperatures hit many parts of the Northeast the previous day, with 114 recorded at South Wales, N.Y., a hamlet near Buffalo. It was 102 in Plainfield, N.J., 101 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and over 100 in New York City. Philadelphia had also reached 100, equaling its record for July 22. Most of the country registered over 90 the previous day, except in the Northern plains region, Northeast New England and the Pacific Coast.

In Long Beach, Calif., Miss Sweden, Hillevi Rombin, was named Miss Universe. She was described as a Grace Kelly with muscles. Among her prizes was a $250 per week contract with Universal-International Studios. Starting on Monday, she would begin work in "The Benny Goodman Story" at the Studios, indicating that she had always collected his records. She said that she did not ever think she would be a movie star but would take her contract as a dramatic education. She had graduated from college in Sweden, spoke five languages, and was from Upsala, Sweden's greatest university town. She was engaged to an officer in the Swedish Royal Air Force.

On the editorial page, "Now for a State Minimum Wage" indicates that even as Congress was placing final touches on a dollar per hour national minimum wage during the week, North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges had been speaking convincingly of the need for a decent minimum wage at the state level. He had addressed the Southern Garment Manufacturers Association in Memphis, saying that when minimum wage legislation had been brought before the North Carolina General Assembly during the year, it had endured rough sledding, that such should not have been the case, that they had to be more liberal and understanding in their thinking and acting on the subject. The Governor said that low per capita income was one of the problems and obstacles affecting the state's growth and development.

The new one dollar per hour minimum wage would increase paychecks of quite a few North Carolinians, but a question remained whether raising it by a quarter all at once would be too much of a shock to the Southern economy, the piece opining that a 90-cent minimum would have been more reasonable.

Thousands of North Carolina workers, however, were not involved in interstate commerce and thus would not be covered by the new Federal law. Since North Carolina had no minimum wage, those workers were still without adequate protection.

Governor Hodges, as with his predecessor, the late William B. Umstead, had urged passage of a 55-cent state minimum wage, but the proposals had been rejected. It finds that the Governor was to be commended for keeping the issue alive.

It quotes from New York's respected Journal of Commerce, which had said that the present enlightened industrialists were looking for a place where citizens valued the added payroll, the tax payments, and other contributions of the company, and where there were men and women who wanted to work and who had the ability, general intelligence and character necessary for good production in a manufacturing enterprise.

It remarks that in view of those facts, it could not believe that North Carolina's enlightened industrialists would continue to battle a decent minimum wage in the state.

"Foreign Aid Should Be Continued" indicates that Congress, as usual, was fretful about financing another installment of foreign aid, while Administration officials, per their usual course, had appeared before Congress to make their case. The House had listened and then reduced the President's proposed 3.2 billion dollar bill, until it had "saved" the taxpayers 627.9 million dollars. In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee restored most of the House cuts so that it appeared the bill would go to a conference committee in substantially the amount asked by the President.

Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana had declared his intent to kill most of the 200 million dollars sought for economic development of free Asia, an amount reduced to 100 million in the House and then increased back to 150 million in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

It finds that arguments for foreign aid had never been more convincing than at present, both in terms of what had been done and what was needed. The U.S., since the war, had concentrated its efforts in Europe, with its manifold industrial resources and abilities. The Europeans' strength, built up by U.S. aid, was a very good reason behind Soviet willingness to assume a peaceful posture. Until the free nations were aware of whether that posture was real, any reduction in efforts to create more strength in Europe would be foolhardy.

In Asia, the problem was not one of bolstering but of building strength, and it was in that area that the threat of Communism remained undiminished. The threat was in the form of military attack across the Formosa Straits, and in the tools of subversion and infiltration all across the continent. The U.S. had military strength to oppose any attack, but there was the need to create in friendly countries the strength to fight their own battles. The weapons against subversion and infiltration were healthy economies which offered bread and rice to the hungry. That was the aim of the President's economic development program, which was under attack in Congress.

It states that the free world strength had been built on U.S. aid and, to a large extent, was still so reliant. It concludes, therefore, that now was not the time to cut foreign aid, as hope for the future in Europe could be replaced with confidence that U.S. allies were healthy and strong.

"Five Rules for Keeping Young" indicates that after the series on aging by Charles Kuralt of The News, it was to be gleaned that old age had become a problem, that most of those over 65 who managed to remain youthful despite the ravages of time could not explain why or did not know why.

Satchel Page, however, the elderly baseball pitcher who appeared to go on forever, was an exception, having five foolproof rules for keeping young. They were: avoid fried meats "that angry up your blood"; that if one's stomach acted up, the person should lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts; that one should avoid vices like carrying on in nightclubs; that one should not run; and that one should not look behind as something might be gaining on the person.

It indicates that it passed along that advice at no extra cost and with a firm endorsement, that if those rules would not work, nothing would.

A piece from the Florida Times-Union, titled "A Place for Lovers", indicates that elderly New Yorkers had a fondness for Central Park, resulting in plans for a $250,000 indoor-outdoor recreation center designed especially for their use, made possible by a gift from the Florida Lasker Foundation, to be erected in a shady section of the park favored by elderly bird-watchers, squirrel and pigeon feeders and ordinary bench warmers.

No longer could a soapbox orator be found regularly advocating in parks, and only rarely did the bench warmers enjoy such specialty acts as that in San Francisco offered by a dancer exercising a 13-foot python in Union Square.

It finds that the elderly park lover was less to be pitied than the young park lover, for the secluded spots favored by the young had diminished in proportion to the demand in recent decades, with more people and fewer opportunities for getting away from them having become a threat to romance, and television having made the parlor a family room and the steady stream of cars from Detroit having made lovers' lane look like a parking lot.

Noted author and lecturer Lewis Mumford had called the problem to the attention of the American Society of Planning Officials several years earlier, asking how many hiding places for lovers had been provided. It finds the question still pertinent, that the modern park should include plenty of hiding places.

Drew Pearson, in Geneva, tells of the Big Four summit conference adjourning about the way everyone had expected, with a hopeful communiqué and pleasant promises for the future. The principal question still remained, whether the new smile on the face of the Soviets was present to stay or was simply a passing fancy, and whether the Kremlin would take advantage of a truce in the "war of scowls" by strengthening its internal political and military position, while the U.S. rested on the hope of amicable relations, or whether a new era of genuine understanding and friendship between East and West had begun. No diplomat whom Mr. Pearson had encountered at Geneva was willing to answer that question, but he had found several who were convinced of a real change in the Kremlin, finding that its leaders definitely did want to cooperate with the West. No one was certain, however, how long that would last, but many were certain that a friendlier spirit prevailed in the Kremlin.

Mr. Pearson offers his own conclusions from comparing notes with diplomats and observing the Russians, indicating that Russia, with the greatest land mass in the world and the largest army in the world, was presently governed by a committee without any significant friction within it. He indicates that it was smart politics for the Soviets to have brought all four of their leaders to the conference, Premier Nikolai Bulganin, Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, and Defense Minister Georgi Zhukov. They had all put forward Premier Bulganin as the real head of their Government, but Mr. Khrushchev was much friendlier with the crowds, waving and trying to appeal especially to young girls. He was careful, however, not to repeat his performance at Belgrade, when the hard-drinking Yugoslavs had gotten him drunk off his feet.

He relates of the backstage story of Mr. Khrushchev discussing East-West relations with French Premier Edgar Faure, at the latter's villa on Lake Geneva. When Mr. Khrushchev sought to make an overture to split France away from the Western allies, Premier Faure told him not to try to split the allies, that they might differ on the details but not the fundamentals. When Mr. Khrushchev persisted, the French Premier again interrupted and said that agreements between the West were so deep-rooted that they could not be separated.

M. Faure had, during World War II, escaped France ahead of the Nazi invasion in spring, 1940 and, while living in North Africa, had studied Russian, such that for the previous four months he had been reading Pravda. In discussion with the Russian delegation, he had discovered at Geneva that they echoed almost the exact party line on international problems as set forth in Pravda. They also repeated it to the point of monotony. They gave the impression of being unsure of themselves, not brilliant or skillful at modern diplomacy, amateurish vis-à-vis the diplomats of other nations. As the dinner concluded, M. Faure proposed a toast, not to Franco-Russian friendship, but to the friendship between all four nations, at which point Premier Bulganin said he would drink to the same thing.

Mr. Pearson notes that Russian arguments appeared to carry weight with the French, for Premier Faure had inserted in his speech two sections which he had not discussed with Secretary of State Dulles or Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, which had upset both of them considerably, one for budgetary control of armaments and the other for European collective security outside NATO. He concludes, therefore, that the Russian appeal, while crude, monotonous and uneducated, had been effective.

A letter from Boyd Payton, Southern director of the Textile Workers Union of America, comments on an editorial, "North Carolina Needs Locally Owned Small Industries for Healthy Growth", indicating that it only partially covered the real need of the state, that to achieve what the editorial sought required clear-sighted examination of the circumstances which placed the state twelfth nationally in industrial employment, down to last in per capita income. He finds that blame for those positions lay almost wholly with native industrial leaders and their political allies, based chiefly in the leading industry, textiles, with its low-pay policies maintained and directly responsible for the status of the workers, enabling the firms to get fat off the hard work of Southerners, while the profits were siphoned away to other sections of the country. He advocates for higher wages and better working conditions for Southern textile workers.

A letter from the police officer who had been discharged from the Charlotte Police Department after it had been discovered that he had been convicted of a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon during the recent Southern Bell Telephone Co. strike, indicates that about two weeks prior to the strike, he had been asked by a union official of the Communication Workers of America whether he intended to do as that official had instructed when the strike had begun, and he had responded that he was going to continue to work because he had no other choice. He had been asked by several other union members if he was going to kick back half of his pay from working and he had informed them that he did not plan to support anyone who did not work because he believed they simply did not want to work. He says that the union official had told him that he would be sorry if he worked because the official and 50,000 other members would see to it that he was sorry. The official had told him that union members would mob him and take his money and that he would not know who they were. He had received several threats to his face, to the effect that he and his wife would be hurt if they worked. He was told that he and everything he had would be blown up, to which he had replied that if anyone messed around his house, they might get shot. After that remark, the union official had made it his business to check to see whether he had a gun and later had told Police Chief Frank Littlejohn in front of a captain and the writer that he knew the writer did not have a gun registered. He says he had never owned a gun in his life. He had filled out a card at the start of the strike to resign from the union. He insists that he was not hostile to labor, that unions had done a lot of good, but that he did not believe in the tactics used by some union leaders. On the day the strike had started, he noticed that the air had been let out of some of his tires and later in the day found that the hood had been raised and wires jerked from the engine as well as the timing changed. He was told by the union official that he had better get his car off the lot by the evening or there would not be enough of it left to move the following day, and so he had a wrecker pick up his car and pull it to the garage. He made a report on the subject to the police and the insurance company and did not use his car any further during the course of the strike. At one point, a car had tried to force him off the road and he was followed by union members. Phone calls and threats were made to his home. He goes on quite a way in describing the various forms of threats and harassment that went on, eventuating in a straight confrontation wherein a union leader told him that they would get him, as another striker reached for the door handle of his car while a third held a brickbat, at which point the writer had pulled a gun from the car seat beside him and placed the barrel in the crook of his left arm with about an inch of the barrel showing. At that point, someone said that he had a pistol, and while they had not made any effort to run away, they did clear the alley so that he could start on his way home, after which firecrackers were thrown at his car. A warrant was then sworn out against him for an assault with a deadly weapon. When he learned that the local union president and others had signed the warrant, he went to the police station and posted his bond, meaning that no arrest was made and so no record of the arrest was maintained. The following night, someone tried to force him off the road. He then signed a warrant against the union president, charging him with an assault with a deadly weapon. He was eventually found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and fined $10 plus costs and a 30-day suspended sentence, whereas the local union leader was found not guilty. He originally had appealed his conviction to the Superior Court, but had to drop the appeal for financial reasons. He asserts that he believed he would have won before a jury. (In North Carolina, misdemeanors originate in District Court, or Recorder's Court in those times, and the case is heard without a jury, appealable to the Superior Court where one has the right to a jury trial.) The writer concludes that it was the first time he had ever been in trouble, that he did not drink at all, despite the accusation that he had been drinking at the time of the charged offense. He indicates that Western Electric employees had made fun of him and called him a sissy because he would not drink and join in their parties before the start of the strike. He believes that when the union officials discovered that he had applied for a position with the police department, they had seen to it, out of spite for his working during the strike, that he received a record, and once he was sworn in as a police officer, they had raised a protest. He believes he had been mistreated by the CWA and that no one should be deprived of a living at the behest of a union.

A letter from J. R. Dean of Lincolnton indicates that he had sent a telegram to Governor Luther Hodges, telling him that his Lincolnton speech on the prior Tuesday had been "a masterpiece" and that he could rest assured that Mr. Dean would not run against him in 1956. He finds the Governor's speech, regarding integration in the schools, to have thrilled his heart and congratulates the Governor. He says that he had already made plans to run for the gubernatorial nomination in 1956, but after hearing the Governor's speech, had determined not to do so, rather to await his fate with the voters in 1960—although by then, I. Beverly Lake will likely surfeit his pate in the primary.

You would have gotten the dog vote.

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