The Charlotte News

Friday, July 29, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles, in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Walter George of Georgia, this date had indicated his opposition to a proposal in Congress that the President call a convention to consider establishing an Atlantic Union. The Committee was holding hearings on a resolution sponsored by Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and 14 other Senators, which asked the President to invite the countries which had sponsored NATO, France, Britain, and the Benelux countries, in addition to the U.S., to name delegates to a meeting to explore the formation of "a defense, economic and political union." The Committee, after hearing testimony, had adjourned without taking action. Among those testifying for the resolution had been Senator Richard Neuberger of Oregon, who believed NATO's provisions allowed for an extension of its military functions to economic and social fields and that stronger political ties were necessary among the Western nations. The advocates pointed out that the resolution did not call for establishment of the Union but only suggested that a convention would consider the idea and make recommendations. But Mr. Dulles said in his letter that "if the invitation to the convention were made by the President … it would, I think, be inferred that he had accepted the practicability and general desirability of some such union." He therefore indicated that if the Congress desired that such a convention be held, a way should be found without such an official imprimatur of it. He also believed that it was inappropriate for the President or Congress to suggest to other countries how they should name their delegates and that the delegations should include the principal political parties, pointing out that the largest single political party in France was the Communist Party.

The President indicated this date that he approved plans for launching an artificial earth satellite for scientific purposes. Government scientists explained that one or more of the objects would circle the earth 200 or 300 miles up at a speed of 18,000 mph, and might remain aloft for days or weeks before falling back through the atmosphere where they would disintegrate. The White House stated that information to be obtained from the project, which it hoped would begin in 1957 or 1958, would be available to the scientists of all nations, including Russia. The Government scientists participating in the White House press conference said that the satellites were not yet in existence but only in the planning stage. They expressed confidence that they could be launched within two years based on current rocket flights which had risen to 250 miles in altitude. The satellites were projected to be about the size of basketballs, but the experts were not yet aware of the material which would be used to make them. (How about rubber or leather?) Even if they did not carry instruments aboard, they could obtain valuable information on the earth's upper atmosphere. They would circle the earth about once every 90 minutes and so would provide opportunity for study even if they remained aloft only for a day or two. The satellite program was expected to cost about ten million dollars. The project was designed to be part of the country's participation in the International Geophysical Year, designated to be from July, 1957 through December, 1958. Some 40 nations, including Russia, were slated to conduct research and make worldwide observations in the field of earth sciences during that time period. White House press secretary James Hagerty stressed that it was a scientific program, and, in response to a question, stated that he meant it was distinct from warmaking purposes. The various scientists at the conference, representing the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, said that more information might be obtained from the satellites about the ionosphere, important in radio communications, regarding improved weather forecasting, the effects of the light and ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and about cosmic rays and meteorites.

The Atomic Energy Commission said this date, in its 18th semiannual report to Congress, that it had begun producing weapons the design of which was based on the 1954 hydrogen bomb tests in the Pacific, hinting that they were of several different types. It said also that the prospects for developing an airplane driven by atomic power had "considerably brightened" during the previous six months. (Let us hope not, if you happen to be in its flight path on land, given the record of flight safety generally. Should one of those go down, for instance, over Brooklyn shortly before Christmas, 1960…) Some scientists had speculated that one such new device tested during "Operation Castle" at its Pacific proving grounds in spring, 1954 might have been a "hydrogen-uranium bomb", utilizing an atomic bomb trigger of a hydrogen fusion bomb encased in a jacket of naturally occurring uranium. The theory was that such a weapon would produce much more radioactivity than even an hydrogen bomb with its deadly fallout capable of covering 7,000 square miles.

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had declined an offer from Mayor Robert Wagner of New York City to be its police commissioner.

In New York, a World War II Army deserter who had changed his name, raised a family and founded a thriving business, had been sentenced to 25 years at hard labor by a court-martial the previous day, after pleading guilty. His wife had told the court-martial that one could not ask for a better husband. She had married him in 1946, unaware of his desertion until his arrest the previous May. Approximately 600 friends of the family petitioned the court-martial for leniency toward him. The court-martial was informed that he had been convicted three times for being AWOL and was serving a five-year sentence at hard labor at Fort Knox in Kentucky when he had deserted on December 7, 1944. The court-martial, composed of ten officers and one warrant officer, added a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay and allowances to the 25-year sentence. The court-martial could have sentenced him to life at hard labor. The sentence was subject to review in the normal course.

In Columbia, S.C., Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr., stated that South Carolina's drive to prevent out-of-state liquor from entering the state without its tax stamps was being misunderstood, telling a press conference that the program "wasn't designed to molest innocent members of the public", but rather to boost falling liquor tax revenues.

Ann Sawyer of The News indicates that the most favorable growing season in years was anticipated to provide Mecklenburg County farmers with their best crop since 1947, according to the County farm agent, indicating that the farmers were benefiting from the recent frequent rain, with only one dry section, in the northeastern part of the county. The growing season was in sharp contrast to the previous summer's drought which had cost local farmers over a million dollars and had put Mecklenburg County on the Government's disaster county list. The County agent said that it was about the same for the whole state.

Charles Kuralt of The News indicates that Hunter's Store, which in Charlotte was as famous in its way as Ivey's or Belk's or Efird's department stores, had operated since 1917, selling general merchandise on Providence Road at the intersection with Sardis Road, dispensing salt and snuff, more recently gasoline. But with the plan to widen Providence and make it into a real highway, the store was being moved, lock, stock and barrel, this date 150 feet toward town and 20 or 30 feet back from the road. Its 84-year old owner and manager since 1937, O. C. Hunter, had sold out to his younger partner, Bill Williamson, for the reason that "good folks were just too scarce", such that he had concluded not to kill himself. Mr. Hunter said that he would still be around the store, keeping a chair and desk in the back, where he would continue to deal in real estate and do some trading, but that his partner would now have the business, bad debts and all. He said that he might not have sold it but for the fact of his hurting feet, that some days when his partner was not around, he had just sat in the store and wished that no one would come in. He had been the sole proprietor until Mr. Williamson had joined him about ten years earlier. Most of the stock remained on the shelves during the move this date, except for a large collection of candy jars which were placed on the floor. Six varieties of chewing tobacco remained in their glass case and the old coal stove, which had warmed the store for 37 winters, stayed where it was.

And that's the way it was...

On the editorial page, "The Big Bull That Lives in Moscow" tells of the delegation of Soviet farm leaders which had recently visited Iowa to study corn while a group of American farmers had traveled through the breadbasket of Russia, finding that the Russian delegation probably could not help but find that the largest bull in the world was the Kremlin propaganda machine which had portrayed American farmers as poor, starving peasants subject to the greedy capitalists. It finds that they could not help but be impressed by the personal freedom inherent in the advice of another farmer that they should not bother about their confusion over the price support system since "a lot of American farmers don't understand it either". They also could not attend church, picnics, chamber of commerce luncheons and movies with Americans and still cling to the belief that Americans were bent on war and extermination of the Russians.

Associated Press correspondent Tom Whitney had observed that the Russian farmers would be suffering from a "strong case of mental indigestion". The piece suggests that when that cleared, their minds would retain a picture of the peace, prosperity and outgoing friendliness of the Midwestern farmers who had been their hosts. It finds that the ultimate key to peace was worldwide neighborliness among people, "a spirit that will not tolerate barriers between them."

It concludes that the farmers of Iowa, and the Des Moines Register Tribune which had conceived the idea of the Russian tour, had given the Iron Curtain a real blow and that if people were to keep coming through that crack in the curtain, one day it would collapse.

Well, don't tell the Rooskies that or they will stop the openings.

"A Question about the Turncoats" asks whether the three individuals who had elected originally not to repatriate to the U.S. following the end of the Korean War, after they had been taken prisoner by the Communist Chinese, but had now decided to return home, were in or out of the Army, finding that the Army would do itself and the public a service if it would make up its mind and provide the reasoning behind the decision.

The Army had originally dishonorably discharged the three men when they refused to repatriate, but now that they were returning home, the Army said that it would arrest them and then court-martial them, precluding their relatives from seeing them except for a brief visit at ship-side when they would disembark in San Francisco.

It indicates that the troubling question was not the punishment which the "turncoats" richly deserved, but rather the procedures which the Army appeared to be contemplating in a mood of vindictiveness. If they had already been dishonorably discharged, it would appear that they would now not be subject to military law such that a court-martial could be convened. It finds that one answer to the problem could be that the Army had exceeded its authority in discharging the men without trial and that they were therefore still soldiers, while another theory was that the Army could extend its jurisdiction to former soldiers in relation to offenses committed while they had been soldiers. It asserts again that the Army should make its position clear and believes that both dishonorable discharges and other penalties prescribed by a court-martial would be suitable punishment for turncoats, but that the penalties should be strictly within the bounds of the law, whether civil or military.

It also believes that the men should probably be allowed to go to their homes before facing justice, that the parents and wives had given them up so that they could go to war and that even though they had failed to honor either their relatives or their country, their relatives should not be punished in the process.

"Anchors Aweigh" indicates that the talk of having the Coast Guard patrol the Catawba River struck the editors as utter nonsense, that a police function was involved and that the U.S. would get along fine regardless of whether there was rowdyism or reckless boating along the Catawba. It indicates, however, that if the Coast Guard would take over the duty, perhaps the idea might be extended to other services, with Army MP's policing the streets of Charlotte, members of the Air Force operating the airport, paratroopers running the elevators in the Liberty Life Building and the Navy's Shore Patrol overseeing beer sales.

"Eloquence from the City Hall" tells of City Manager Henry Yancey the previous day having resorted to unusual rhetoric in stating pedestrian concepts, such as: "Water is a common enemy… When rain falls it falls on everyone, the just and the unjust alike, and is everyone's problem… Nature determines that water should run to the lowest point and it is not the duty of the city to attempt to steer it otherwise… It is the duty of every person to get rid of it as best he can and not dam it up so it backs up on the man above him."

It suggests that perhaps they had in their midst a new Daniel or a male Portia from The Merchant of Venice shedding light on Shylockian problems, that it would take some further critical examination of Mr. Yancey's rhetoric to say for sure, but that there was no doubt that he knew his water and his English.

"Youth Movement" tells of there being one soothing thought about the raucous brand of popular music presently proliferating in the country, that it would not last. It indicates that among its leading practitioners were the Four Freshmen, the Crew-Cuts and the Four Lads, that with such names, they could not expect to mellow with age in the limelight.

But the Limeliters might, at least until the rain starts to fall.

In any event, they're not, like, into the hippest quartets yet...

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Naming the Baby? Try These", tells of the Virginia Health Department Bulletin having devoted itself recently to a discussion of birth certificates, in the process having mentioned some of the unusual names on record in the Bureau of Vital Statistics, such as Cranberry Turkey, Celestial Delight, Arie Zona, Fird Nan, Rollen Stone, Gather Pickle, Early Arrival and Alpha Omega. (Rollen Stone had a son, we understand, named Rollin Post, but never mind...)

But it finds that it did not top the list compiled by the Alabama Bureau of Vital Statistics a few years earlier, which had indicated such names as Strawberry Commode, Coming Hard Times Smith, Piece o' Cake Johnson, Laxative Jones and Semi-Colon Divinity Duke.

A UNC professor had done some research which produced names of North Carolinians such as I Shall Rise and Go to My Father Smith, and Seven Times Shalt Thou Walk Around Jericho Brown, who was called "Thou" for short. Others he had found were Nary a Red Lightning Twice, No Dice, Sunday May the Ninth and Lucy Never Seen Joe Smith, plus twins named Gasoline and Kerosene.

It suggests that those listed probably had wished that their parents had used some judgment in naming them. Surveys showed that more than a third of all people wished they had different names. Some of the reasons they gave were the difficulty which others experienced in pronouncing or spelling their names, personal prejudice and the fact that names were subject to puns and jokes. It notes parenthetically that initials could also become embarrassing, that the Thompson family should not name their baby girl Pamela Orphelia. (They should probably also not name a son Samuel Horatio Ichabod.)

It concludes that most people were stuck with the names they were given at birth, including a North Carolinian whose parents had sought to salvage part of the name they had intended for a daughter, by naming their son Rosa Bell Ain't No She.

Drew Pearson, in Paris, indicates that the time was approaching when Congress would want to look at the foundation on which was built the so-called defense of Europe and that if a Congressional committee were to probe a little deeper than the surface, it would find a condition of neutralism and fair-weather friendships in Europe which would persuade some members that the U.S. ought pull out of Europe completely. Mr. Pearson indicates that he did not believe in isolation but rather in cultural, economic and amicable ties with Europe which should never be severed. But he distinguishes defense, believes that there was no use providing funding for European countries which would not pull the trigger after they were the subject of aggression.

NATO, he asserts, was praiseworthy but not very successful in enabling nations to work together. NATO supreme commander General Alfred Gruenther had labored valiantly to bring together an organization which two years earlier had existed only on paper, increasing NATO bases from almost none to 140, while building miles of pipeline to bring oil and gas to those bases and materially improving the good will and cooperation of the 14 other NATO nations. The President, who had been NATO commander from early 1951 through mid-1952 when he quit the post to run for the presidency, would be the first to say that General Gruenther had done a better job than he had done.

But beneath the surface of NATO's defenses, one found that most of the 140 bases were American, paid for by the U.S. and manned by American troops, that the French, who had been supposed to supply the backbone of NATO's manpower, had not, there being two French divisions which had been equipped by the U.S. and which suddenly pulled out of NATO without any advice to General Gruenther, being sent by the French to North Africa, along with their American equipment, while two additional divisions which were supposed to be mobilized by the French still had not been. Norway was building NATO bases to protect them from Russian attack, especially from Lubbeck, only 26 minutes away, but under Norwegian law, American troops could not occupy those bases until the Norwegian Parliament met and voted for it. Meanwhile, Russia could attack and take those bases, such that the U.S. was merely building modern bases in Norway for later Russian use. In addition, modernization of the French Army had been postponed indefinitely, with the French Minister of Defense estimating that the Army could not obtain modern equipment before 1963, by which time much of that equipment would be outdated. The French military budget had not been established even for 1955-56. In addition, Yugoslavia, with one of the toughest armies in Europe, had become neutral, with Marshal Tito doing so after visiting Premier Nehru of India, not because of the solicitations recently from the leaders of the Kremlin. Turkish representatives had gone to Belgrade to urge Tito to join in the three-power Balkan defense pact with Greece and Turkey, but he had declined. As a result, Greece was also now talking about neutralism.

Neutralism was strong in Germany, on whom the U.S. was depending to bolster European defenses. A recent civil defense test of German defenses had shown that Germany was wide open to attack by hydrogen bomb, causing a panic in the neutralist press in Germany, with editors upset over rearmament, claiming that the American weapons to be used by the new German Army were obsolete.

Doris Fleeson tells of Senator Estes Kefauver having conducted hearings, as chairman of a Judiciary subcommittee, in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, regarding morality issues, including pornographic comic books, lewd photographs, increased violence in television shows and suggestive advertising at movies. While little noticed in Washington, the hearings had attracted large crowds and excellent coverage, including local television, in the three cities where they were being held. Funds for the hearings were nearly exhausted however, and so the time was coming nigh when Senator Kefauver would have to seek further funding from the Senate.

Inevitably, the idea among fellow Senators would arise as to whether or not Senator Kefauver was merely trying to keep his name before the public, in the same manner as his popular, nationally televised organized crime hearings of 1951-52 had done for him in the lead-up to the 1952 Democratic convention. Many Democrats did not want that kind of publicity again for the Tennessee Senator—who would, in 1956, narrowly defeat Senator John F. Kennedy for the vice-presidential nomination after repeat presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson threw open the convention to nominate his running mate.

Ms. Fleeson indicates that there had been tremendous interest in the subjects being covered by the subcommittee, with parents, clergy and educational elements following them in great numbers. Washington was fairly oblivious to that interest, however, because "the term social program has all but reverted to meaning an evening of bourbon and soda." Whether or not the Senator's motives were suspect, there was reason to believe that more parents were worried about the problems with which the subcommittee was dealing than they were about the Dixon-Yates contract or Formosa. "The moral forces now behind Kefauver are largely unseen in Washington but they are important in this country and have ways of making themselves felt."

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that relaxation of East-West tensions after the Geneva Big Four summit conference had been fully matched by easing of Democratic-Republican antagonism regarding internal security. The strong bipartisan support provided to creation of an impartial Commission on Government Security, charged with reviewing the entire internal security program and recommending necessary changes, was proof of that easing partisan tension.

Senate and House confreres had, on July 25, resolved a difference over the deadline for the Commission's final report, recommending the end of 1956. The President had no objection to the Commission and was expected to sign the bill. It was not to suggest that the two parties were in total agreement on the details of the internal security problem, with Democrats still upset about being charged by Republicans in the 1954 midterm campaign with "20 years of treason", while Republicans still defended the Administration's security program. But by backing the Commission, both sides acknowledged a desire to take the security problem out of politics.

The Commission would have the time to study and analyze the array of statutes, executive orders and departmental directives which governed internal security, whereas Congress did not have that available time. The Commission would likely undertake codification of the several internal security laws.

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, one of the sponsors of the Commission approach, stated that much of the security controversy could be traced to a "series of uncoordinated Congressional enactments and executive orders and regulations." He contended that much could be done to improve the system's efficiency while reducing its cost.

The primary problem in the minds of most of the proponents of the Commission concerned alleged abuses of individual rights, rather than tightening security or cutting costs. Critics of the loyalty program initiated in 1947 under President Truman, as well as the replacement program set up in 1953 by President Eisenhower, claimed that both programs involved the denial of basic constitutional guarantees, chief among them being Fifth Amendment due process and the right under the Sixth Amendment to confront and cross-examine witnesses.

Most defenders of the current program argued that expediency demanded that not all traditional privileges be afforded. Such was the view of Assistant Attorney General William Tompkins, who believed that affording those privileges would possibly jeopardize the FBI investigatorial system.

Changes in the system which had been proposed thus far, while extending greater protection to persons charged with being a security risk, would not resolve the basic conflict between the security program and Constitutional rights. Former Federal Judge Thurman Arnold, an outspoken critic of the security program, wanted to see the entire system junked rather than have it provide the appearance of a trial without its substance.

Congress hoped that an impartial bipartisan Commission, composed equally of six Republicans and six Democrats, could come up with an answer.

It indicates that most Americans either understood or misunderstood the security program in terms of a few sensational cases of individuals caught up in the machine, some properly but some innocently. The latest case to come before the public had been that of William Henry Taylor, an International Monetary Fund official who had been declared a security risk by the Government's International Organizations Employees Loyalty Board, accusations which Mr. Taylor had denied. Those accusations had been brought by Elizabeth Bentley, admitted former Communist who had been periodically testifying since 1948 about alleged Communists in the Government. She claimed that Mr. Taylor was a member of a Communist spy ring while he worked for the Treasury Department during World War II. Mr. Taylor had challenged her to submit to cross-examination. He was represented by former Representative Byron Scott of California, who wanted to test the constitutionality of the procedures. It raised the question whether a finding that an individual was a security risk, often based on testimony by unidentified witnesses, comported with the constitutional right to trial by due process.

That question dated back to 1947, when President Truman had issued an executive order, pursuant to calls from Republicans in control of Congress for same, which established the loyalty program on the basis that people would be removed from Government employment if their loyalty was shown to be in "reasonable doubt". Although that program was designed to place the burden of proof on the Government, its procedures were widely criticized as denying due process.

It should be noted that procedural due process generally includes reasonable notice of charges pending against a person, the right to present evidence on one's own behalf, and the right of cross-examination of witnesses presented against the party. The right to have an attorney present is also considered part of fundamental fairness under due process. The Sixth Amendment, as cited above, which includes the right of counsel, pertains strictly to criminal proceedings, not administrative hearings. But the rights therein listed are generally included in the concept of procedural due process under the Fifth Amendment, regarding Federal proceedings, and the Fourteenth Amendment regarding the states.

Robert C. Ruark, in Barcelona, recalls being in Casablanca one week in around 1947 when Senegalese troops were able to break open the armory and take its guns, turning the city into a bloody shambles, with no officials around to be reached for comment at the time, as they had all gone away to play golf for the weekend in Marrakech or Fedala. The result was that a couple of hundred locals had died during that weekend.

He also recalls a long walk on the knife-sharpening street in Tangier on the day they had kicked the old sultan out and inaugurated the new one, as well as the "fun and games in Rabat" in Morocco. So it occurred to him that he had seen enough riots. He regards them as "the messiest of all the violences" because all of the wrong people got killed or were stomped. Windows were broken and cars overturned, awakening ancient enmities so that a door was kicked in of a neighbor who was innocent of anything other than being the object of personal dislike by one of the rioters. Fires were set and furniture was broken to bits. The innocent bystander was always the one who was hit by a bullet or got hit on the head, whether it was a race riot, a strike riot or a political riot.

Having also seen the Mau Mau operating recently, he decides that instead of visiting the riots in Casablanca, he would stay home and watch a bullfight, which, despite its barbarity, could not "hold a candle to the way people act against each other."

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