The Charlotte News
Thursday, September 1, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Jerusalem that fighting had again flared up along the Gaza Strip this date, with Israel reporting that two of its jets had shot down two Egyptian fighters, although a Cairo broadcast indicated only that the Egyptian planes had crashed during a reconnaissance flight. An Egyptian spokesman said that Egypt had received a message from the Israel's Foreign Ministry, urging an end to the hostilities all along the tense border, adding that the message had been delivered through the U.N. truce supervisor. Israel's Foreign Office had disclosed a few hours earlier that tanks and troops had blown up an Egyptian military headquarters inside the coastal area the previous night, describing it as defense against "active warfare" being undertaken by Egypt, a spokesman indicating that armor and troops had penetrated the frontier lines to wipe out a base which "Egyptian terrorists" had been using to launch attacks against Israel. An Israeli Army spokesman indicated that Egyptian Vampire jets had been patrolling over Israeli territory when the Israeli pilots had engaged them near the Jewish settlement of Yad Mordeohai, three miles north of the northern boundary of the Egyptian-held Gaza Strip, with one Egyptian plane blown up and the other having crashed. The Cairo broadcast had, however, quoted an Egyptian spokesman as saying that the two Egyptian planes had collided in heavy clouds during dawn reconnaissance, denying that they had been shot down. Witnesses on the Israeli side said that the Egyptian planes had been flying south along the Israeli coast toward Gaza when they turned toward the shore to carry out "victory dives", and had apparently not observed two Israeli fighters coming from the east, with the consequence that their dives had enabled the Israeli pilots to gain an altitude advantage before the attack. It was the second reported air encounter between Egypt and Israel since the 1949 armistice in the 1948 Palestine War. Two Israeli planes had clashed briefly the prior Monday with four Egyptian planes, and an Israeli spokesman had said that one of the Egyptian planes had been hit, while authorities in Cairo stated that there had been no casualties.
In Greenwood, Miss., it was reported
that the body of 14-year old Emmett Till had been found in the
A spokesman for the Association of Citizens Councils, organized to prevent desegregation, said that Emmett's death was "regrettable", but the executive secretary of the organization, Robert Patterson, said that the death was not connected with the pro-segregation groups, that their organizations were designed to prevent violence and that it was the NAACP and "outside agitators" who were engaged in "agitation and inflammatory statements". The NAACP issued a statement indicating that the state of Mississippi was now seeking to "maintain white supremacy by murdering children", that the "killers of the boy felt free to lynch him because there is in the entire state no restraining influence of decency, not in the state capital, among the daily newspapers, the clergy nor any segment of the so-called better citizens." In Chicago, Mamie Bradley, Emmett's mother, said while sobbing that "the entire state of Mississippi is going to pay for this." The Tuskegee Institute in Alabama said that it planned to investigate Emmett's death, together with the deaths of two other Mississippians, Lamar Smith and the Reverend George W. Lee, as possible lynchings. The latter two men had both been active in seeking to register blacks to vote in Mississippi. Rev. Lee had been driving in his car in Belzoni, Miss., the prior May 7 when he was fatally wounded by a shotgun blast fired from another car, no one having been arrested in that murder. Mr. Smith had been gunned down on the courthouse lawn in Brookhaven the prior August 13, and three men had since been arrested for that murder, which happened in broad daylight in front of several witnesses. No one would ever be convicted in any of the three murders.
As indicated in the note of the prior Saturday, other newspaper accounts would provide some additional facts and contentions this date. As an amendment to the note of Saturday, there had been a brief Associated Press account prior to this date, appearing on August 30 regarding the kidnaping of Emmett and the arrest by the LeFlore County sheriff of the two half-brothers for it following his interrogation of them based on the account of Mr. Wright, with the sheriff quoted as stating his fear that there had been "foul play" in the matter. The story also tells of Mr. Wright having believed that he heard a female voice emanating from the car, saying, in response to inquiry, that Emmett was the right boy who had been "doing the talking" at the store on Wednesday—some of the press accounts having erroneously reported that the events at the store had occurred on Saturday, clarified as Wednesday during the trial—, and also that Mr. Bryant had claimed that he presented Emmett to his wife at the store after the abduction on Sunday morning, that she then stated he was not the right person, and so they released him—at variance with the account Mr. Bryant would relate to William Bradford Huie for the Look article, at the bottom of page 49, to be published the following January after their September 23 acquittal, in which the half-brothers admitted the murder, then stating that Emmett had admitted that he had done the talking at the store and so there was no need to have him identified by Mrs. Bryant. (The newspaper report of Mr. Wright definitely hearing a female voice should be compared with his trial testimony, pages 19-20 of the transcript, in which he would say only that he heard a "lighter" voice make the identification from the car. It may appear as "common sense" that if the person heard in the car was, indeed, a female, she had to be one of the wives, but a prosecution for any crime, let alone a potentially capital offense, as both kidnaping and first-degree murder potentially were in Mississippi at that time, cannot be initiated on the basis of mere hunches, and Mr. Wright not only was not certain that the voice was female but also said that he never saw that person.) That contention of admission by Emmett is consistent with the later eyewitness account of Maurice Wright, who did not testify at trial, that Emmett had admitted that he was the one "doing the talking", when asked by the two half-brothers at the time of abduction in the Wright home. But it also begs the question why someone in the car outside the home would then be asked to confirm that Emmett was the one, the simple answer being that the brothers were concerned that one of the boys in the home might take responsibility to shield another or might attempt to confuse them. There was another cousin in the house also from Chicago, and the brothers had only asked to see the "boy from Chicago" when they confronted Mr. Wright initially at his door. As indicated previously, some of the account the brothers provided for Look, beyond their basic admission of guilt, may have deliberately been seeking to shield Carolyn Bryant from prosecution for complicity in at least the kidnaping, which would have potentially also made her culpable for the murder under the felony-murder rule, depending on state law at the time in Mississippi. The brothers, no doubt, had discussed the interview with their attorneys before giving the account to Mr. Huie.
Not yet reported, the sheriff of Tallahatchie County contended initially that the body pulled from the river was not that of a 14-year old boy but rather of a grown man, and that therefore it could not be Emmett, despite a ring having been pulled from his finger which had belonged to Emmett's deceased father, and the positive identification at the scene by Mose Wright, as confirmed by a deputy of adjoining LeFlore County, where the kidnaping had taken place. That same Tallahatchie County sheriff would seek to bury Emmett's body quickly in Mississippi, requiring the intervention of Emmett's mother, who enlisted the help of Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, who obtained the help of the Illinois Governor, and with the further help of the NAACP, had managed to stop the Mississippi burial and have Emmett's body shipped back home to Chicago on September 2. The apparent reason for the unusual effort by the sheriff was to prevent outside forensic and general examination of the manner of death, with Emmett's head having been beaten to an unrecognizable pulp, though amply so described by the Tallahatchie sheriff on the inside page of the above-linked Clarion-Ledger story of this date. The undertaker would suggest, according to other reports, that the body was in such poor condition that it could not be shipped to Chicago, but that, of course, defies credulity, as it was shipped to Chicago the following day. One could take the generous view of the Tallahatchie sheriff's motives for the planned quick burial, that he was seeking to spare Emmett's mother the horror of seeing her son's head and body in that condition, or ascribe a more sinister motive, that he was seeking to cover up the horror from others outside Mississippi, perhaps to shield the murderers from the resulting outrage which he believed would be promulgated by the "outside agitators".
In Fort Worth, Tex., police had found the body of a gunman-gambler, Leroy Eggleston, 49, in a shallow well, six miles north of the city the previous night, having been shot in the back of the head. His death left alive only two of the principals in the "slay-for-pay" murder of wealthy oilman William P. Clark, 61, who had been found dead in his expensive home on May 22, 1953. Police had initially declared his death suicide, but Harry Huggins, a 47-year old mobster-informer who had said that Mrs. Clark had offered him $10,000 to arrange to kill her husband, had broken the case open in April, 1955. The other remaining principal still alive was the widow. Twelve days before Mr. Clark's body had been found, he had petitioned for annulment of his marriage, saying that his wife had "lured" him into marriage for his money. Mr. Eggleston's body had been found less than a week after his blood-stained sedan had been discovered in a parking lot in Fort Worth. Another mobster named by Mr. Huggins and the police in the killing of Mr. Clark, Cecil Green, 49, had been slain in a gangland ambush the prior May 4 when he and Mr. Eggleston had driven to a highway rendezvous, a trap from which Mr. Eggleston had shot his way out, hours after which he was found, scared and shaking, in a nearby building, and had been reportedly hiding until his disappearance a week earlier. Underworld sources had said, however, that he had still been busy milking gamblers, burglars, safe-crackers and others of part of their loot, giving them the alternative of losing all of it. Messrs. Huggins, Eggleston and Green had been charged with murder and were later indicted, and Mrs. Clark had been charged as an accomplice, though she had contended she had nothing to do with her husband's death. Mr. Huggins said that he had gone to the Clark residence, believing that the job only involved a robbery, and that while he was searching the house for valuables, one of the accomplices had taken Mr. Clark into another room, whereupon he heard a shot and returned to find Mr. Clark dead, with a bullet hole behind an ear. It was believed by police that the trigger man had been Mr. Eggleston. Should both Mr. Huggins and Mrs. Clark wind up murdered, the police will be up against it.
In Detroit, Chrysler Corporation and the UAW reached a contract agreement this date, six hours after widespread strikes had taken place at plants of the company in six states, and the UAW had immediately issued back-to-work orders to all of its union locals. Work disruptions, however, among Chrysler's 139,000 employees would likely continue to impede production throughout the day. The agreement had been modeled on that of Ford and G.M., which had been reached in early June, guaranteeing laid-off workers 60 to 65 percent of their regular take-home pay for up to 26 weeks of idleness, and provided for wage increases of six cents per hour to all employees for each of the three years of the contract during which they would work in skilled classifications. The workers also received increased pension benefits, up to a maximum of about $250 per month, including Social Security, and wage differentials between the Detroit area and the rest of the country were eliminated, hospital and insurance coverage improved, and non-economic portions of the contract liberalized, giving the union, for example, for the first time the right to strike over production standards.
In Fort Mill, S.C., at least ten persons had been injured in a collision of a bus and an automobile, with initial reports indicating that four adults and a child in the car had been taken to a hospital, along with five or six passengers of the bus, with no immediate report on the extent of their injuries. An operator of a nearby service station said that he had been told that the brakes on the bus had failed as it was going into an intersection about a mile west of Fort Mill, shortly after noon.
In Charlotte, with Labor Day coming the following Monday, American Legion members were seeking to sell American flags to every business so that they could be flown by Veterans Day, November 11, with their goal to have 750 flags flying on that day. The campaign was in response to the fact that only two flags had been observed in Charlotte on Flag Day, as duly recorded on June 14 by Charles Kuralt.
Dick Young of The News indicates that on September 6, the city's 47 schools would reopen, with approximately 27 students expected to attend, about 2,000 more than the previous year's first day of enrollment, when a little over 25,000 students had registered, with enrollment then steadily increasing during September to a little more than 26,000, reaching 28,540 by the end of the school year on June 3. Approximately 1,150 teachers were set to begin instruction. Don't lose track of your classrooms, or you will regret it. It would not be good form to show up, say, around mid-October and have to ask the principal where to report, unless, of course, you are a new arrival from another school.
Harry Shuford of The News indicates that over 18,500 children had started in the Mecklenburg County schools this date, with anticipated record attendance of 19,000, more than 1,000 above the 17,870 enrolled the previous year. Two new schools had been placed into operation for the first time this date, McClintock and West junior high schools, giving the county the largest system of schools in its history. There were 26 new teachers, principals and supervisors added to the system, the same increase in staff for the previous school year, providing a total of 592 employed personnel in the system, the largest in its history. There were, however, still overcrowded conditions as in previous years. Only a half-day of classes would occur this date and the following day, with Tuesday, following Labor Day, becoming the first full day of school. Bus schedules would be staggered, causing the starting time of school to be staggered, and probably half the students also to be staggered, after the long bus rides.
In Memphis, Tenn., members of a Memphis firm, which had chosen to remain anonymous, had arrived at work recently to find a badly mangled safe which had nearly been opened, and a bottle of whiskey missing from the boss's desk, which was nearly empty. A note, written in a jovial, but uncertain hand, stated: "Almost, sport!"
In Heidelberg, Germany, the U.S. Army certified this date that Ferdinand, a two-year old circus camel, did not contain metal, after an emergency call from a veterinarian required that the Army send out a mine detector to determine whether the camel had swallowed a piece of metal two weeks earlier, causing his indigestion. The veterinarian called off planned emergency surgery but recommended a special diet for Ferdinand.
On the editorial page, "School Board Takes the Right Step" finds that the Charlotte School Board, which had adopted recommendations of its three-man study committee, assigning students to the same schools to which they had either been assigned in the spring or, in the case of those relatively few students who had not yet been assigned, to those schools to which they would have been assigned, had taken the "sane approach to the desegregation problem".
While the Board recognized its responsibility to comply with the law of the land, it also had responsibility for saving the public school system from harm and, it finds, had correctly stated that any hasty, ill-considered action toward compliance would serve poorly both of those responsibilities. It finds that the committee's report showed that the Board was acting in good faith to comply with the law, and that the committee would seek advice and information from a wide variety of individuals and groups in its further study of the issue, thereby serving the community's needs and wishes. It suggests that it was a policy worthy of support by all groups and was the only policy which promised an equitable solution to the problem posed by Brown v. Board of Education, in its implementing decision of the prior May 31, requiring that segregated school districts desegregate "with all deliberate speed", under plans to be overseen by the Federal District Courts, with due regard to local conditions and circumstances, which the Court had recognized would vary considerably between school districts.
It urges support and confidence from the citizenry of the community in the Board and its decisions, and finds that it could not be charged with flouting the Brown decision, as the Court had recognized that time would be required for development of a workable program.
But it said nothing about 16 years, now, did it? That delay would turn, as we have suggested before, "with all deliberate speed" into "with all deliberate sloth".
"Disarmament: The Avoided Subject" indicates that in ten years of international talks about disarmament since the end of the war, every conference had ended in inaction because of disagreement between the Soviets and the Western powers over the critical issue of inspection and control of arms.
At present, the U.N. Disarmament Commission conference had opened, and inspections immediately arose as a roadblock to further progress, with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., having renewed the mutual air inspection and blueprint exchange proposal presented initially by the President at the July Geneva Big Four summit conference.
It finds that it was too bad that such conferences were stymied by the inspection issue, but that it would be suicide for the U.S. to agree to stop development of its atomic arsenal without a proper inspection program to ensure compliance mutually such that a surprise attack would not be feasible, with any atomic attack requiring the element of surprise to have any chance of success—the catch always being mutually assured destruction.
In the meantime, in Korea, the Armistice Commission had taken the first step toward abolishing the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission through agreement to cut inspection teams almost in half, and the U.N. Command had served notice that it would demand complete abolition of the Commission for the reason that its Communist members, Poland and Czechoslovakia, had used it as an instrument of sabotage and spying in South Korea, while preventing the neutral nations, Switzerland and Sweden, from inspecting an arms buildup in North Korea. It suggests that the situation there demonstrated that, for the present, it was too much to hope for a workable inspection plan generally.
"Water Board Tackles Vital Job" indicates that because there had been ample rainfall during the current year, the swearing in of the new board of water commissioners in Raleigh two days earlier had been just another routine procedure, while only the previous year, during the summer drought, that board had taken on special significance in dealing with the state's water distribution problems. Governor Luther Hodges had said that there were two tasks for the board, to inventory water resources and to act in drought emergencies to divert available water to essential needs. An assistant attorney general had stated that the board also might concern itself with problems of flood control, given the damage from recent hurricanes.
It indicates that since several droughts had shown the inadequacy of the water supply, it hopes that the board would concentrate on developing new programs for conservation. Prospective industry to the state was more interested in available water resources than even tax rates. It took 140,000 gallons of water to produce, for example, a ton of cotton goods, and 64,000 gallons to produce a ton of paper. Increasing irrigation on farms and air-conditioning in the cities had caused only short dry spells to turn potentially into droughts. It thus finds that the new board of water commissioners had a large job and that any relief they might bring to the water problem would render a great service to the state.
"A Goal Mecklenburg Will Meet" indicates that the Red Cross faced one of its biggest tasks in providing relief for 50,000 families who had suffered serious losses in the recent flooding in the Northeast, the result of Hurricane Diane's backlash. The rivers had now returned to their normal courses, and the full extent of the loss was only now being realized. As of the previous day, a total of 7,570 persons were still being housed and fed in 59 Red Cross shelters. The organization had set a goal of ten million dollars for its flood-relief program and still needed to raise half that amount.
The piece indicates certainty that residents of the county would quickly meet the local goal of about $8,000, as local citizens were always prepared to provide a helping hand to the suffering.
A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "Leave Alice Alone", indicates that a publicity handout from the International Universities Press had advised that Dr. Phyllis Greenacre, psychoanalyst and professor of clinical psychiatry, would publish a book titled Swift and Carroll, in which she took the position that Alice in Wonderland was a "reproduction in words of many of the sensations and thoughts of the 2-to-3-year-old child familiar to psychologists and psychoanalysts." She had sought to reconstruct important events in Mr. Carroll's early childhood and Mr. Swift's "obscure early years" to show that those events "unintentionally were revealed in adult writings in a form apparent to a psychoanalytically trained observer."
The piece wants no part of it, as such "ingrown intellectualism" could take the fun out of Alice in Wonderland and "dull the edge of the keenest Swift." "Are we to comprehend that the Jabberwock with eyes of flame, who whuffled through the tulgey wood, is no more than a psychoanalytical manifestation of a nightmare suffered by Carroll in his cradle? Is the fall down the rabbit hole a subconscious reaction of some infant tumble from the crib? In the mad tea-party, presumably we are to find echoes of a boy's birthday party; when Alice swims in a pool of tears, we have the recollection of a bathtub?"
It finds that no one cared whether Mr. Carroll, at the age of ten, had seen a chicken beheaded, suggests that a postmortem on the "loveliest fantasy in all literature" prompted a recommendation "to whack off somebody's head, sure enough." It urges instead picking on Shakespeare or looking at Shelley's psyche—not specifying whether Mary or Percy Bysshe—, but wants Alice left alone.
Drew Pearson's column, which continues to be written by his staff while he was on vacation, indicates that the Navy had quietly awarded a multimillion dollar contract to a shipping company, United Tanker Corp., whose tankers had hauled oil products to North Korea, Communist China and Siberia on the eve of the Korean War. That company had also thumbed its nose at the law to obtain war surplus oilers, had paid only $25 in Federal taxes on 14 million dollars in earnings between 1948 and 1950, and also violated at least the spirit of the maritime code by hiring American crews for short periods and then discharging them in Asiatic waters, then signing on low-paid foreigners. Nevertheless, the Navy handed the company a ten-year oil-hauling contract which would pay the company its customary profits and would also add eight new tankers to its fleet. Congress had authorized the agreement to defray two-thirds of the tanker construction costs over the ten-year period, the original purpose having been to take the Navy out of competition with private enterprise, while the symbol of private enterprise had turned out to be United Tanker, which had been in hot water during most of its brief history. Though it was under American registry, it had Chinese ownership, and recently had been forced to pay two million dollars for illegally using American front men to purchase six war-surplus tankers, had also chartered two oilers to the Soviet Union between July, 1949 and May, 1950, as uncovered by Senate investigators. The latter ships were used to help supply oil to the Communist armies fighting in North Korea. The investigation by the Senate had also disclosed that the company had paid only the $25 in Federal taxes during two of its most prosperous years and that it had never been penalized for substituting the low-paid foreigners for American crewmen, though fined $854,000 for using foreign radio operators during 1951. The column notes that the General Accounting Office was now investigating the whole mess.
It indicates that it would be denied, but the State Department had adopted a secret policy against assigning American Jews to key posts in Israel.
Democrats were quietly investigating the President's use of White House help at his Gettysburg farm.
While former President Truman was criticizing the Administration, he had sent a thank-you note for help from the Administration in establishing his Presidential library in Independence, Mo.
General Maxwell Taylor, the new Army chief of staff, was already at odds with Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Arthur Radford, as General Taylor wanted to withdraw two additional American divisions from the Far East and have them returned to the U.S. as part of a central mobile reserve. Admiral Radford feared that the plan would tempt the Communist Chinese to attack Formosa.
Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia had applied for a visa to visit Russia, but then changed his mind. Another Commie who was planning to defect, but thought better of it because he knew that old Joe would be on to him—always on the job, rest assured, despite the Commies out to get him.
Walter Lippmann indicates that the previous week, the President had addressed the ABA convention in Philadelphia, setting forth some thoughts about the July Geneva Big Four summit conference, designed to correct the impression that the negotiations had been soft and that the spirit of Geneva might tempt the signing away of the West's interests in Germany and Eastern Europe.
Mr. Lippmann suggests that such false impressions came from talking about foreign affairs in moralistic, inaccurate rhetoric rather than in cool, matter-of-fact and precise language, and he opines that there never was an excuse for letting the impression arise that Geneva would soon be followed by a settlement of the major issues of the cold war or in raising the false hope that the Soviets were about to surrender their principal position in Europe or the false fear that the U.S. was about to surrender the Western position. It was often said that the Geneva conference had not changed anything of substance, but, he ventures, Geneva reflected and registered a substantial change which had taken place during the prior two years in the relations between the Soviet Union and the Atlantic community, that being the realization on both sides, becoming official policy, that with modern weaponry and the existing balance of power, there was no alternative to peace, with the Geneva conference having recognized that military stalemate, which would continue to have far-reaching consequences.
Secretary Dulles, presently preparing for the foreign ministers conference in October, was faced with those consequences, especially how, if force and threat of force had been renounced, the Soviets could be induced to make a settlement which they were not willing to make. The Secretary had since proclaimed the American ideal of renunciation of force, yet was also calling for the unification of Germany on terms which would demand radical concessions by the Soviets. The idea of bringing about "peaceful change" was the hardest problem in the organization of international peace, one for which neither the League of Nations nor the U.N. had found a good solution, as shown by Indo-China, Korea, Palestine, Kashmir, and North Africa.
With rare exception, the maintenance of peace meant the maintenance of the status quo, and with regard to the Soviet Union, the West wanted to change the status quo, inducing the Soviets to withdraw the Red Army and its political power from its satellites in Eastern Europe. To unify Germany on the terms favored by West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and to liberate the satellites entailed just such change of policy. But how it was to occur, since Geneva established that the Soviets could not be compelled to withdraw, remained to be seen.
While the U.S. had the power to prevent Soviet expansion, the Soviets had the power to prevent their withdrawal from the satellites. The U.S. could defend South Korea and Formosa against overt aggression, but could not drive the Communists out of North Korea or from the Chinese mainland, could defend West Germany and West Berlin, but could not compel the Soviets to withdraw from East Germany and East Berlin. Thus change, if it was going to occur, would have to take place through time via delicate diplomacy, and in conducting that diplomacy, as Secretary Dulles was presently doing, the primary means of reaching agreement was to engage in trade.
But world opinion was unlikely to back up the West very strongly and so agreements now depended on negotiation, providing a quid pro quo and trying to establish a mutually profitable bargain. Mr. Lippmann suggests that the President would prepare the country for what was coming if he were to explain what negotiation meant, coming down from the clouds in his expression of abstract principles, stating things in concrete terms. "It does no good to mystify the reality of things by talking as if we expected by a non-violent 'crusade' to convert the Communists to the principles of Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson. It is no good allowing Mr. Nixon to talk as if we could get everything for nothing merely by our blowing our own horn loudly enough. That can do nothing but mislead our own people."
The Congressional Quarterly indicates that absentees among members of Congress had led negatively to the record of the previous session, that on several roll call votes, the absentees would have probably reversed results. The Democrats held a majority in the Senate by a margin of only two votes, and in the House by 28 votes, not counting that of Speaker Sam Rayburn, who customarily did not vote. On some roll calls, Republican absentees gave the Democrats control by more votes than they might otherwise have obtained, while Democratic absentees eliminated part of that margin, and on 27 occasions provided the Republicans minority control of the Senate.
In one instance, an amendment to the highway bill received 48 Democratic votes and 43 Republican votes, whereas normally the Democrats would have only enjoyed a margin of two votes. On an amendment to a cotton-acreage bill, 46 Republicans and 44 Democrats had voted, giving the Republicans a two-vote margin instead of what should have been the other way about. Dozens of roll call votes had been non-controversial, with the bonus votes for one side or the other acquired through absenteeism having no decisive effect. But on 26 Senate and 31 House roll calls, the parties had split, with the bonus votes having great potential significance. Absent Democrats gave the Republicans 48 such bonus votes on 26 Senate roll calls which split the parties, while absent Republicans had given the Democrats eight such bonus votes, leaving the Republicans with a net of 40 such votes in their favor, when all of those votes should have been decided, on party-line voting, in favor of the Democrats.
Each party lost a roll call vote which it should have won, with the Senate rejecting by a vote of 42 to 41 a 21 million dollar appropriation for the atomic-powered merchant ship, a proposal put forward by the President, with present Republicans unanimously voting for the ship, 40 to 0, while present Democrats voted against it, 42 to 1, giving the Democrats one bonus vote. Had one more Republican voted for it, the vote would have been tied, leaving it to Vice-President Nixon to break it.
The Democrats had lost a vote after the Senate ordered a conference committee to delete from a bill provisions which would have required the businessmen employed by the Administration "without compensation" to file financial statements, with the Democrats having voted unanimously for the measure; but the bill had been recommitted and Republicans picked up six such bonus votes, meaning that if six absent Democrats had voted against the recommittal of the bill, the provisions would have remained. Instead, a compromise emerged from the conference, omitting it.
Thanks to bonus votes, Democrats had won two reciprocal trade tests which they otherwise might have lost. In all, absent members might have reversed the results of 28 roll calls during the first session. It notes that it was unrealistic, however, to assume that all absentees would have voted with the losers on each roll call, but they might have overturned ten Senate and 18 House roll calls had that been the case, and at least a few of the close votes might have been reversed.
It adds that absenteeism tended to increase on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays, as members of Congress took long weekends to visit their constituencies, but the absenteeism recorded in the 1955 session had reflected the influence of weekend commuting only to a slight degree, as members appeared to stay in Washington when weekend roll calls were scheduled. Senate and House Republicans voted 88 percent of the time during the session's 110 mid-week roll calls, occurring between Tuesday and Thursday, compared to 86 percent on the 53 weekend roll calls, whereas Democrats averaged 90 percent voting during the mid-week and 87 percent on the weekends.
A pome from the Atlanta Journal, this one "Inscribed With Regard To People With A Good Sense Of Humor:
"Everybody loves the folks
Who appear to like their jolks."
You must have busted your yolks
Off the wall with too many Colks.
Links-Date — Links-Subj.