The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 30, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Tokyo that Communist Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, in a foreign policy speech broadcast from Peiping, had declared this night that the "question" of the small number of American civilians in Communist China could be easily settled at the Geneva ambassadorial conference starting on Monday, making no mention of the 11 airmen which Communist China had imprisoned on charges of spying. U.S. Government officials had stated that 51 Americans were being held in China, including 40 civilians, 25 of whom were reported to be in jail, three under house arrest and 12 refused exit visas. Chou said that the Chinese people did not want war with the U.S. and so the question of a cease-fire between the two countries did not arise. He said that China would endeavor to enable the Geneva talks at the ambassadorial level between the Communist Chinese representative and U. Alexis Johnson of the U.S. to "pave the way for further negotiations" between the two countries. Chou demanded the return of "several thousand" Chinese students he said remained in the U.S. and that since the two nations did not have diplomatic ties, they should allow a third country to look after and repatriate each country's civilians. The State Department had said that all remaining Chinese students in the U.S. had been given clearance months earlier to leave and that those remaining did so voluntarily, with previous denials of exit visas having been based on the concern that education received in the U.S. by the students, who had come to the U.S. prior to the Communist Chinese takeover in 1949, might prove beneficial to the Communist Government, those restrictions however having now been lifted. Chou also said that preparations for negotiations for relaxing the tension in the Formosa area could also occur at Geneva, provided the U.S. was prepared to cooperate with Communist China. He continued China's insistence on the "liberation" of Formosa, calling it an internal problem, but said that the "liberation" could occur by peaceful means and that China wanted no war with the U.S. He said, however, that negotiations would not include Nationalist China's desires, but would be with the "responsible local authorities of Taiwan to map out concrete steps" for peaceful liberation.

In San Francisco, it was reported that three Americans who had refused repatriation at the end of the Korean War in July, 1953, but had since changed their minds and had now returned home, had been still teenagers when captured by the Communists in North Korea in 1950. They now would face charges by the U.S. Government, which could result in the death penalty, being accused of betraying their comrades and their country and informing and aiding the enemy in exchange for favored treatment. They had returned to San Francisco the previous day by ship and were immediately arrested and confined at Fort Baker. If, after investigation, the Army decided that a court-martial was in order, the trials would be held in San Francisco, but if the investigation proved that the evidence did not warrant the charges, they would be freed. The three told reporters that they were glad to be home, were aware that their arrests were pending, but that they were not worried about it, having faith in American justice. They said that they had made honest mistakes about Communism and that the system and the Communists were no good. Relatives of the three had come aboard at the dock and met with the men on the sundeck, one of the men having broken into tears when he saw his mother. Another retained his composure until he was in the arms of his father, at which point he began to sob aloud, breaking into a wide grin and then cried again as he embraced his wife and four-year old daughter.

A late bulletin indicates that the U.S. had this date demanded that Bulgaria pay "prompt and adequate" compensation for the loss of 12 American lives in the shooting down of an Israeli airliner by Bulgarian antiaircraft guns the previous Wednesday. Bulgaria claimed that the El Al Airlines plane, en route from London to Israel, had flown off course from its usual route over Yugoslavia into Bulgarian territory.

The Congress hoped to adjourn this night, but there were no assurances, and House leaders had scheduled some business for Monday, but still hoped to wind up business by early the following day. The Senate had worked nearly until midnight the previous night, regarding relatively minor bills, but still had a lot of business to conclude. Five major pieces of legislation remained on the essentials list for the session, including a housing bill extending numerous Government programs, which had passed the House the previous day and would go to conference this date, a bill increasing the minimum wage to a dollar, a compromise version of which had been passed by the Senate the previous night, with the House expected to send it to the President this date, a Defense Production Act extension of various powers needed for the mobilization effort, the Senate having passed it and the House debating it the first thing this date, along with two money measures and several minor bills.

The Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration announced a 2 percent increase in minimum cash payments and a five-year reduction in the present 30-year maximum repayment period. Housing administrator Albert Cole described the moves as being in response to "warning signs of inflationary possibilities". Previously, veterans had been able to purchase homes in many instances without any down payment, and FHA-insured loans would have minimum down payments increased by 2 percent, requiring 7 percent of the first $9,000 of value plus 27 percent of the balance, with those changes going into effect immediately.

The House Rules Committee, chaired by Representative Howard Smith of Virginia, had sent a controversial pay increase bill to the floor for action this date, regarding the workers around Congress, to cost between three and four million dollars per year. It would also make certain organizational changes. Under it, the top new gross salary would be a little over $16,000 per year for two technical counsels, an increase of more than $1,000, and would authorize each member of Congress to add about $10,000 per year and one additional employee to the present maximum payroll of seven employees and about $30,000. It would also increase by half the stationery allotment of $1,200 for each member. Objection came from members who believed that some employees of Congress were drawing as much as $10,000 for working only an average of seven months per year during each session. There were also differentials that made no sense, such as Senate elevator operators being paid $3,000 more per year than House elevator operators.

Elton C. Fay reports that American scientists were confident that they could launch into space a man-made satellite by 1958. The President the previous day had endorsed a plan to devise and launch such a satellite, to be about the size of a basketball, and would spend days to weeks 200 to 300 miles above the earth, traveling at 18,000 mph, making one orbit every 90 minutes. The U.S. had been known to be exploring those possibilities at least since 1947. Moscow radio had stated the previous April that Russia planned to produce a satellite for research purposes. White House press secretary James Hagerty said the previous day that the U.S. satellite would be entirely for scientific purposes and that information obtained from it would be available to all nations, including the Soviet Union. The first step in the program would be design development and then would come the assignment of contracts to firms to make the components of the multistage rocket which would propel the satellite into orbit. Scientists and industry would team up to produce a metallic ball which could endure the heat produced by the friction of the atmosphere at the time of launch into space. The project would be a part of the International Geophysical Year, extending from the middle of 1957 through 1958, during which 40 nations, including Russia, would make studies and share their findings regarding a multitude of scientific matters, including the weather, earthquakes, glaciers, geology, solar activity, the sea and the upper atmosphere. The White House spokesmen and scientists said that the first U.S. satellite probably would be spherical, would be launched by rockets, probably in series, linked together and firing successively. The cost was placed at between 10 and 20 million dollars. In 1949, a two-stage rocket had been fired at White Sands, N.M., to 250 miles up. Some members of Congress immediately had wanted to know whether the U.S. would be giving the Russians free access to information useful in the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, with Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire indicating that any such sharing of information should be reconsidered, and some Democrats had agreed.

An accompanying artist's conception of the satellite makes it appear as a toy top or, with reference to a few years later, half of a Duncan yo-yo, which was dubbed, if we recall correctly, appropriately enough given the conception, but bearing no resemblance to any actual satellite which we had ever seen at the time, "The Satellite". "The Imperial", however, was the best of the lot. You could do all kinds of tricks with that one, which no other yo-yo would do. You did not even have to be an expert in yo-yo's to use it. But it would not circle the earth, claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

In Baltimore, it was reported that police of that city and Wilmington, Del., were searching for the parents of two children who refused to talk to the police. One child, a girl of about three or four, had been found wandering around a downtown dime store in Baltimore Wednesday afternoon, while the other, a boy, perhaps a year younger, was found in a chapel of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. John in Wilmington about three hours later. Both children were well-dressed and were blue-eyed blondes who looked similar. When the girl was shown the picture of the boy in Wilmington, it was not clear whether she recognized the picture. It was clear, however, that the girl hated men. The two had been placed in foster homes while the police of both cities continued to look for their parents.

In Honolulu, it was reported that Susan Bryan had arrived the previous night in her race around the world via commercial airliners, expected to reach San Francisco before noon this date and complete her circuit under the old record time of 115 hours, 38 minutes, having departed from San Francisco the prior Tuesday.

In Dixon, Ill., a chef spotted a red neon sign over a door the previous night, walked in, slapped his hand on the counter and said, "Give me a shot." The man behind the counter asked him to repeat the instruction, at which point the man did, and the police sergeant immediately took him before a magistrate, who fined him $10 for intoxication. The red neon sign had read "Police Station". He was probably just looking for Ronnie, most recently appearing at Disneyland.

On the editorial page, "Good Conduct Ribbon for Congress" tells of night sessions having suddenly become a convenience to the Congress as it headed for the end of the 1955 session, giving rise to the question of what they had accomplished. The biggest victory was in setting straight the house of Congress by reassertion of a sense of responsibility which had been almost destroyed amid the partisan bickering of the 83rd Congress. Hysteria had receded and extremists were curbed, with investigating committees remembering dignity. Bipartisanship had flourished in foreign affairs and the much abused issue of internal security was removed from debate and relegated to study by a bipartisan citizens committee.

Regarding individual issues, Congress had been at its best on foreign policy, voting money to continue the mutual security program of foreign aid, standing with the President on the Formosa crisis, supporting his trip to Geneva and generally endorsing his conduct there. The small amount of dissent had come from the Republicans. The treaties regarding West Germany had been signed and reciprocal trade agreements had been extended.

Domestically, Congress had given the President virtually all he had sought and more for standing military strength, but had dodged the need for universal military training and weakened the reserve bill proposed to accomplish a similar result. It had passed a minimum wage increase and provided raises for postal and other Federal workers.

Partisanship had killed the statehood effort for Hawaii and Alaska and had inspired unsuccessful attempts to obtain political capital out of the unwise bill to cut taxes and increase farm support prices from the flexible system established in the previous Congress. It had failed to meet the need for a nationwide highway construction program, and housing legislation was threatened by a Senate attempt to quadruple the President's request for public housing units and by the reluctance of the House to provide any, with a compromise between the two extremes expected. There was no likelihood of a sensible settlement which would eliminate public housing and continued funds for FHA purposes, military housing and slum clearance.

It finds that Congress could be praised for eliminating the controversial Dixon-Yates contract, but blamed for making no effort to form a new public power policy to fit the needs of the times.

It indicates that in sum, the Congress had been blind to several domestic needs, had placed politics above other needs and had wound up pretty much in status quo, with little originality and also not much regression. If it had left some raw wounds open, it healed some which it had inherited from the prior Congress.

"Artificial Satellites: Full Speed Ahead" states that in approving plans to build and launch the world's first man-made satellites, the President had yielded to stubborn necessity, but had waited nearly too long, as there was good reason to believe that the Russians were already at work on a similar project. Months earlier, the president of the Soviet Academy of Science had stated that science had reached a point of creating an artificial satellite, words which were echoed among many other Soviet scientists.

U.S. officials and scientists had learned from the nuclear program that those sorts of expressions of pride from the Soviets needed to be taken seriously.

While it was not a weapons race, the first country to launch such a satellite would establish a significant propaganda victory. Stewart Alsop had indicated that the fact that a satellite had no military application had stopped the U.S. for years from its development, despite technicians of the Air Force Rand Project having determined in 1947 that such a satellite was technically feasible. But opponents had argued that top priority should be given to scientific projects with military value.

Earlier, a price tag of 20 million dollars had been placed on the satellite program, but the President had authorized only half that amount, indicative of military considerations still playing a major role in the judgment of the Administration.

It concludes that it was no time for budgetary concerns within reason, and that the project should be provided the funds it needed to achieve success. Even if it lacked military application, it would still open the door to the great unknown of outer space and the information gathered from it could be useful in many fields. It could also be useful to the world, and the fact that the U.S. would be supplying that information would have great psychological impact within the context of the cold war.

"Where Pity Ends" tells of South Carolina Governor George Bell Timmerman, Jr., having stated, after receiving much criticism for the new South Carolina policy of interdicting liquor and cigarettes coming into the state from elsewhere without South Carolina tax stamps, that the policy was being misunderstood, that it was not designed to molest tourists simply traveling to South Carolina.

It says that it had never understood the policy, but when the Governor stated that North Carolinians "would enjoy the beaches more if they left their liquor in North Carolina," he had quit reasoning and gone into meddling.

A piece from the Sanford Herald, titled "Legal Lightning Won't Last", tells of testing white lightning by setting it on fire, such that whether the flame was red or blue, it would pass the alcohol purity test. In earlier times, a man might give it to his neighbor and they would gulp it, possibly gag and wipe tears from their eyes, grab a piece of bread, and when they at last could speak again, might say that it was worth trying, that it sure was good.

Sometimes, the county solicitor might tell a judge that the deputies had found 14 half-gallon jars of white liquor under a man's bed and that it could not have been there for anything except sale, and so recommended that he been sentenced to six months on the roads. The defense attorney might then counter that the defendant had never sold a drop in his life and had never bought any, that he just naturally loved a toddy but could not stand the store-bought stuff and so produced a little of his own for home-drinking.

The piece suggests that it was that sort of thing which had caused the unexpected popularity of legal white lightning being sold in ABC stores across the state for $2.25 per pint. The majority of partakers probably had never had any of the illegal variety but had heard tales about it all their lives and so decided to try it.

Twenty years earlier, ABC stores in the state had maintained a policy of stocking brands of cheap liquor to compete with the bootlegger, with a bottle of white lightning available for 50 cents. But not many people bought it.

It predicts that the same would eventually occur with the current legal white lightning, that its boom represented the power of advertising, but that corn simply was not what it was cracked up to be.

Drew Pearson tells of the real story of Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott going deeper than his own difficulties with the Senate Investigations subcommittee investigating his potential conflict of interest by having been a partner in a firm which engaged in Air Force contracts, going to the roots of the American political system whereby a few wealthy men were called upon to raise money for the increasing cost of electing a president. Mr. Talbott had been one of the President's big money raisers, as well as in that same position with respect to former New York Governor Thomas Dewey. He also belonged to a small group of persons who helped found G.M. and who made a fortune out of airplanes which had never flown during World War I. Mr. Pearson asserts that he should never have been appointed to a defense Cabinet position, but because the Roosevelt Administration had fired him from the War Production Board aircraft division during World War II, he had wanted to stage a comeback and so, with the party owing him a debt as a major fundraiser, was appointed by the President to become Secretary of the Air Force.

Mr. Pearson indicates that he had followed Mr. Talbott's appointment closely and called attention to the report on him prepared by Charles Evans Hughes at the request of President Wilson during World War I, Mr. Hughes at the time having been first Governor of New York and then a Supreme Court Justice, resigning his latter post to run against President Wilson in 1916. Because of the seriousness of the airplane scandals, President Wilson had appointed Mr. Hughes to investigate them. Mr. Hughes had spent several weeks doing so, examining why airplanes were not produced during World War I, and, among other things, had determined that Mr. Talbott had been in part responsible, as the president of a war profiteering company formed to make motors for the planes. Mr. Talbott's father and Charles Kettering, later vice-president of G.M., were partners in the company with Mr. Talbott, along with Edward Deeds, head of Delco Battery, subsequently becoming a G.M. subsidiary. Mr. Hughes determined that they had been guilty of "conduct of a reprehensible character", but said that they could not be prosecuted under existing law, recommending a court-martial for Mr. Deeds, their former partner, as he had been made a colonel in the Army in charge of aircraft procurement, in which position, according to Mr. Hughes, he had conveyed information to Mr. Talbott in an improper manner regarding a transaction between their company and the division of the Signal Corps of which Col. Deeds was the head.

Mr. Pearson concludes that Mr. Talbott had helped, therefore, set a pattern for inside profiteering on war contracts even at that earlier time.

Walter Lippmann discusses the outcome of the Geneva Big Four summit conference, that it had shown a new friendship between East and West, with a downgrading and devaluing of the conflicts between them regarding Germany, the Soviet satellites, Communist China, Formosa, and Vietnam, while the expressed policies of the powers, however, remained the same, with the downgrading process tending for the present to leave the policies at status quo. But both the U.S. and Soviet Governments, pushed by public opinion, had recognized fully the inherent dangers of having a war over those differences and the real dangers of nuclear war to all of mankind and thus, both countries had concluded that they could live with those issues unsettled, as they were doing.

The effort toward that end had begun two years earlier, in May, 1953, when then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill had made an appeal for a summit meeting, inspired by the conviction that once the statesmen would realize what nuclear weaponry could do, they would have to agree to avoid war. Mr. Lippmann posits that in that regard, Mr. Churchill had once again proved a true prophet in the intervening two years, such that now the realization had come to both Russians and Americans, affecting not so much the specific terms but the spirit of their conflicting policies. That realization had also affected the balance of political forces within each country.

Soviet military thinking had undergone a great change as a result of the appreciation finally of the capability of nuclear weaponry, in turn influencing foreign policy of the Soviets.

In the U.S., with the collapse of McCarthyism and the effacement of the "war party", the popular realization that modern war was intolerable now governed policy. The President had always been opposed to the war party, but even as late as the previous January, had resisted them with difficulty and felt compelled to appease them considerably. Mr. Lippmann suggests that it might have been the threat of war over such an absurdity as the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu which had served as the trigger to produce the American revulsion against any third world war. In any event, once the Soviets had begun to show that they also were afraid of war, the President had the whole country behind him, such that he could attend the Geneva conference with the avoidance of war as his ultimate goal.

The prior Tuesday, Secretary of State Dulles had said that as a result of Geneva, the diplomats could now practice diplomacy without fear of war. As a practical matter, the Geneva powers no longer needed to make concessions and could not enforce their demands, as they were effectively disarmed, only being able to argue. If they were to settle, it would be because they had struck a bargain with a quid pro quo. But the West German press took a dim view of that process, having recognized that Geneva had done nothing regarding German unity, downgrading that issue and reducing the motivation to settle it. It was thus improbable that Secretary Dulles would be able through diplomacy in the October meeting of the Big Four foreign ministers to induce the Soviets to accept the terms of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany to enable reunification of Germany within NATO. For the Secretary had nothing to offer the Soviets in return and therefore there was not likely to be any German settlement.

"There will be a national popular movement in Germany on both sides of the dividing line. There will be, or rather there already is, a strong tendency toward accommodation across the dividing line of the Formosa Strait. The primary concern of the big powers will be to see to it that their own clients or satellites, do not involve them in a great war."

Mr. Lippmann goes on to state that there was now a worldwide popular feeling that none of the existing conflicts were worth a nuclear war. At Geneva, the President had been able to identify the U.S. with those sentiments and thus build a bridge to its great adversary, knocking away in the process the worst of the barriers which separated the U.S. from its allies, with the result that the U.S. was now much less alone.

Marquis Childs, in Murren, Switzerland, tells of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, in his mile-high Alpine resort—as Drew Pearson had also recounted earlier in the week—understanding how little progress had been made at Geneva toward reunification of Germany, his ultimate goal. At his press conference, he had carefully concealed his disappointment in that regard.

The Soviets were playing the waiting game, hoping that perhaps when the Chancellor was gone from the scene, the drive for reunification would be checked and the existence of the two parts of Germany would be taken for granted. It might also be the case that despite the goodwill engendered by the summit conference, the Russians still sought the opportunity to bid against the West for the allegiance of Germany. The Chancellor, however, would not be drawn into any controversy in that waiting game.

Mr. Childs had asked him to comment on Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin's final speech to the conference and whether his repetition of the Russian desire to put off German unification as long as possible would allow any profit from the Chancellor's visit to Moscow, to which the Chancellor responded without hesitating, "When you have only had the hors d'oeuvres you don't judge a dinner, even though you may not like the hors d'oeuvres."

The Chancellor was asked whether during his visit to Moscow in the first half of September, there would be any chance that he might agree to the kind of neutralization for a reunited Germany which the Soviets had urged, to which he had responded that he had made many declarations opposing any such neutrality and that those declarations still stood.

A letter writer from Greensboro bets that previous letter writer J. R. Dean, a native of Union County and presently living in Lincoln County, had at least 5,000 friends in Greensboro, as Mr. Dean had worked there at one time. The writer finds that Mr. Dean's previous letter regarding his belief that Governor Luther Hodges had delivered a masterpiece of a speech on school integration and thus had determined not to run against him for the gubernatorial nomination in 1956, had been a terrible shock to the writer, as he had planned to vote for Mr. Dean and believed he would make a better governor than Governor Hodges, whom he nevertheless believes was on the right track. He hopes that Mr. Dean would reconsider.

A letter writer, who remains anonymous, says that he or she had read with amusement letters recently regarding the firing of the police officer who had been discovered to have a recent arrest for misdemeanor assault based on conduct which had occurred during the recent strike against Southern Bell Telephone Co., arising from the fact that the former officer had continued working, crossing picket lines. This writer says that it appeared ironic that the same group which had been cutting cables and dynamiting telephone stations should suddenly become outraged at the hiring of a police officer with a record, which had occurred as a result of their own instigation. He finds that the union's objections to the former officer being employed by the police department were sanctimonious, when anyone in the vicinity of the telephone building, when the non-striking employees had gone on or off the job, had been able to see and observe the type of conduct which the union had orchestrated. The person indicates that while the prosecution witnesses had been allowed to testify freely at the trial of the former officer, the defense witnesses had not been allowed, suggesting that a politician did not want to risk offending the powerful labor vote with an adverse decision. The writer thinks that the former officer was being used as an example by the union to any member who might want to resist their demands in the future.

A letter writer believes the NAACP was trying to force their beliefs on the majority of the people and asserts that Southern blacks would advance faster and with more help and better feelings from white Southerners were they to demand that the NAACP return to "their leader, Arthur Springarn, who is not of our race, neither the colored." He wonders why "the Jewish race is so anxious to get the Negroes and the white race mixed. There surely must be a reason. I noticed that the president and director are both Jews." (Are you referring to Messrs. Eisenhower and Hoover? We had no idea. But with a name like Eisenhower… And, after all, the Jew Roosevelt gave him his start.) He thinks that just as in the times when the Roman soldiers had killed Christ, when the Jews were in back of it, they now wanted to mix the two races. He indicates that on September 9, 1953, Israel had passed a law forbidding Jews to marry non-Jews. "I think we southern people have more love and feeling for our southern colored people than the North will ever have. After living in New York six months, I can't see where the majority of the northern people show any feelings. Ask any southern Negro who has visited the North what they think about them and us. You sure will be surprised."

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