The Charlotte News
Saturday, September 17, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Buenos Aires that troops loyal to El Presidente Juan Peron claimed this date to have crushed two major rebel strongholds in predawn battles and stated that a strong force was at the gates of a third, with the tide thus appearing to be turning sharply to the side of El Presidente in the bloodiest rebellion he had faced in his nine years in power. The loyalist forces which threatened a powerful attack had been identified as the 4th infantry regiment and the 3rd antiaircraft group, while other loyalist troops were reported converging on the key rebel command as well. Another crucial encounter which would play a major role in determining the outcome of the rebellion, the fourth attempt to oust El Presidente since the unsuccessful naval-led revolt of the prior June 6, appeared imminent in the flatlands around the large naval base of Puerto Belgrano and the port of Bahia Blanca, about 325 miles southwest of Buenos Aires. The government had sped troop reinforcements to the scene to back up the 5th infantry regiment in the Punta Alta sector, that city of 26,000 being midway between Puerto Belgrano and Bahia Blanca. A major-general who was El Presidente's "commander of repression" said that there was "tranquility" in the country, except at the isolated rebel-held points, of which there were two with insurgent resistance remaining, Cordova and Puerto Belgrano. The general had issued a proclamation, read over the national radio network, which said that "at each moment the situation becomes more favorable for the loyalists."
In Moscow, it was reported that the Soviet Union and East Germany had opened negotiations this date at the Kremlin, with Premier Nikolai Bulganin, appearing tired after his recent illness, being on hand, as was Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev. There had been no disclosures as to what the negotiations would cover, but observers had noted that Soviet Foreign Trade Minister I. G. Kabanov had also been present. There was speculation that the conference, which had followed only by a few days negotiations with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer regarding the reopening of diplomatic relations between West Germany and the Soviet Union, would include the question of German war prisoners and reunification of the divided country. The East German delegation was headed by Premier Otto Grotewohl and included East German Communist Party Secretary Walter Ulbricht.
In Hong Kong, the Chinese Communists had released the third American civilian out of the 22 they had promised the previous week to release immediately. The latest was a man from Stockton, Calif., a former operations officer for the American-owned Civil Air Transport, who had arrived at the frontier after five years and eight months of imprisonment. He said that his years in captivity had not been too bad physically, but "morally" he was treated badly. He immediately inquired about his wife, who had been maintaining an anxious vigil in Hong Kong since word had come that he would be freed, and also sent a telegram to his family, as well as expressing thanks to "everyone, large and small, who had contributed toward the amelioration" of the conditions of his confinement and those responsible for his release. He said that he had lost about 30 pounds during the confinement, but appeared fairly fit. He had been captured south of Kunming in January, 1950, and a Chinese Communist spokesman had charged in May, 1954 that he had been "assisting Chiang Kai-shek's brigands to wage civil war against the Chinese people." The Chinese Communists had also released an ailing Italian bishop who said that he had been a prisoner since 1951. He was so weak that he had to be carried across the border into Hong Kong, saying that he could not believe that anyone in their right mind would want to return to Communist China. He said that six or seven Americans had boarded his train at Hankow and probably were presently in Canton, 80 miles from Hong Kong. He said that the Communists had gotten him to admit that he was a spy, "according to their definition but not from an American standpoint." He said that they had accused him of being a State Department, intelligence or government agent, which he had denied. Of the 22 American civilians whose release was promised immediately, only ten were actually held in custody, with the other 12 being free to leave when they chose. There were also 19 other Americans in Communist China, who could appeal to the British charge d'affaires to assist them in getting out.
In Denver, the President this date invited 139 world sports figures, top educators and leaders in other fields to a September 27-28 conference in Denver on building physical fitness of America's youth. The President had expressed concern that lack of such participation was responsible in part for the increasing juvenile delinquency and for failure of so many young people to measure up to selective service requirements. As announced previously, Vice-President Nixon would preside at the two-day conference at the vacation headquarters of the President in Denver. The President would receive the recommendations of the participants in the conference, and would speak at a dinner concluding the sessions.
Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma said this date that Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson ought be removed from office because he was "directly responsible" for the continuing decline of farm income. He said that he did not believe that the President would fire Secretary Benson, and that his removal required a "political operation", by which he meant a Democratic victory in the 1956 presidential election, which the Senator said was the only hope for the nation's farmers. He said that Mr. Benson was seeking "to hypnotize the farmers into thinking they're well off, as he's been doing for 2 1/2 years." He was commenting on a statement made by the Secretary at a press conference late the previous day, that the farm situation was a real problem but that it had been inherited from the prior Democratic Administrations, and wanted "serious, nonpartisan consideration" of the problem, decrying those who made a "political football" out of the growing spread between falling farm prices and rising consumer prices for goods the farmers had to buy. Republican state chairmen had agreed, at a meeting in Washington the previous week, that declining farm prices represented the biggest political barrier to the election of a Republican Congress in 1956. Mr. Benson said that he believed American agriculture was "basically sound", despite what he called "the claims of the prophets of gloom and doom".
In Austin, the Texas Supreme Court heard opposing oral arguments on the issue of desegregation of the public schools of the state in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education implementing decision of the prior May, adjudicating whether Texas public schools could continue to receive state financing in light of the Texas State Constitution and state laws requiring segregated schools. A district court of the state had said that one school district, where grade schools had been integrated, was entitled to receive state funds, but a Dallas attorney for the Texas Citizens Council, an anti-integration group, had argued the previous day that Brown had never considered or acted upon the Texas law providing for allocation of State money to segregated public schools. State Attorney General John Ben Shepperd also urged that State funds could not be used in schools which had abolished segregation, until the Legislature eliminated the required segregation provisions from Texas laws. The district attorney for the school district in question, however, argued that the school district should continue to receive State aid, stating that Brown was now the law of the land and that any state laws to the contrary were therefore rendered by it void.
Meanwhile, in U.S. District Court in
Dallas, a judge effectively held that Dallas public schools could remain
segregated for the time being, that in response to a lawsuit filed by
the NAACP seeking to have the Dallas public schools immediately
integrated per Brown, the court dismissing the lawsuit without prejudice to renewing it at a later time. The court, curiously citing only Bolling v. Sharpe from 1954, not Brown, Sharpe having dealt with the segregation of the D.C. schools and so premised on Fifth Amendment Due Process rather than Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection, as the latter relates only to the states, said: "The direction from the Supreme Court of the United States requires that the officers and principals of each institution, and the lower courts, shall do away with segregation after having worked out a proper plan. That direction does not mean that a long time shall expire before that plan is agreed upon. It may be that the plan contemplates action by the state legislature. It is not for this court to say, other than what has been said by the Supreme Court in that decision." The Judge, William Atwell, appointed to the U.S. District Court in 1923 by President Warren G. Harding, also curiously rested his decision on the pre-Brown cases which had continued to uphold the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson, expressly overruled in Brown, finding that since the segregated schools of Dallas were substantially similar as between whites and blacks, they would pass muster under those pre-Brown cases. The court also denied the plaintiffs' motion for a three-judge panel on the basis that no Federal or state constitutional provision was at issue in the case—apparently not considering the Fourteenth Amendment to be a legitimate part of the Constitution. The Brown implementing decision of 1955 had
stated that public school districts practicing segregation had to
desegregate "with all deliberate speed", with the Federal
district courts being the ultimate arbiters, based on local
conditions, of how and when that desegregation would take place consistent with Brown, based on plans submitted for same by the various local school
districts. Judge Atwell appears to be one of those older judges who believed that "with all deiberate speed" actually meant, with a wink-wink to the lower Federal courts, "with all deliberate sloth", completely abandoning his role to direct the local district to develop a plan for desegregation. Not surprisingly, therefore, the case would be reversed the following May by a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, with one dissent, and remanded with orders that the lower court afford the plaintiffs a full evidentiary hearing in the matter. Judge Atwell, howevuh, on remand, continued in late 1956 to defy reality, even contumaciously saying that the Brown Court had "based its decision on no law but rather on what the Court regarded as mere authoritative, modern psychological knowledge that existed at the time that the now discarded doctrine of equal facilities was initiated. It will be recalled that in 1952, Mr. Justice Frankfurter said it was not competent to take judicial notice of 'Claims of social scientists.'" The judge again dismissed the suit without prejudice "in order that the School Board may have ample time, as it appears to be doing, to work out this problem." After further reversal and remand by the Fifth Circuit in 1957, and again in 1960, the case would wind up before the District Court again in each of 1960 and 1961, with another judge, appointed by FDR in 1936, sitting in the case by that point, first having stated in 1960 that he believed an impending local election ought determine the matter of integration or not of the public schools, or at least be advisory on the manner and timing of the implementing plan, a bizarre notion when considering the fact that, short of a countervailing duly authorized proposed amendment of repeal, we do not vote on the Constitution nearly 100 years after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified by three-fourths of the states in 1868, and after having the case again remanded, rendering in 1961 an opinion which reads more like a newspaper op-ed piece than a legal opinion, reluctantly following the mandate of the Court of Appeals in directing that the School Board's "right of choice" determination of schools by the students be reversed and that an order mandating integration be entered. After reading that latter gobbledygook—the judge even at one point speaking of his black "playfellows", not playmates, so as not to draw people onto their confusion
The latter judge's perverse logic, that a right of education is not in the Constitution and thus should be left to the states, blinked conveniently the notion that any state or local law which infringes due process or equal protection is apt to be struck down as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, absent a showing, when involving either one of the enumerated fundamental rights or a "suspect classification", that is discrimination based on an immutable characteristic, such as race or ethnicity, that there is a compelling state interest for the form of discrimination and that the discrimination is in furtherance of that interest. That concept was embedded in the law prior to Brown, even if not precisely articulated as such in an analytical framework for pedagogical purposes for the bench and bar until 1957, in a concurring opinion by Justice Felix Frankfurter, joined by Justice John Harlan, the former an appointee of President Roosevelt and the latter, of President Eisenhower. To insist on pinning concepts down to particular words, a rather foolish game played by some law students, and even later, by some lawyers, in response to the necessity of time-compressed learning of numerous unfamiliar concepts at one time by rote, rather than, so much, by reason, avoids, as these judges in Texas managed to do at the Federal District Court level, the substantive in favor of the purely semantic, missing, in the process, the whole point, as perhaps the back nine, or some other similar event more worthy of their concentration, beckoned the day they drafted their opinions.
Howard Whitman, in the sixth in a series of articles on the lost art of parenting, indicates that in Juvenile Court in Cleveland, a boy of 13 had stood before the judge, charged with being incorrigible at home, insolent at school and generally obnoxious, with the judge commenting that he believed the boy needed a good whipping, asking him when the last time had been that his father had whipped him, to which the boy responded that he never whipped him, that when he was bad, he lectured him. When asked by the judge the subject of the lecture, he said he did not know, for he did not listen. Mr. Whitman indicates that the boy's father was simply being a modern parent, having read some of the child psychology of the previous 20 years, dispensing with corporal punishment as "medieval" or "a sadistic outlet for the unresolved hostility of parents". He indicates that the boy's father, in the example he cites, had been confused as to what had gone wrong, and that he represented many parents who were understandably puzzled. Other parents who had not resisted the urge to punish their child for bad behavior had later felt guilty about the practice, feeling out of step with the experts. A counselor of the Family Service Bureau in Chicago had said that many times a parent had done a fine job of disciplining their child and then undid all the good because they felt guilty, that one conscientious young mother had said that after she punished her child, she did not know what happened to her but that she wanted to apologize. Mr. Whitman suggests that the emphasis had been shifted from the wrongdoing committed by the child to the punishment of the child by the parents. Meanwhile, child psychology was re-examining the whole problem of punishment, recognizing that while excessive corporal punishment was neurotic, it was also neurotic to be afraid to engage in such punishment, inflicting much greater pain in the long run than could ever be inflicted by a spanking. Withdrawal of privileges had been the most popular device of those parents not punishing their children by corporal means, and Mr. Whitman indicates that such might be the worst type of punishment to the child, perhaps wishing for a spanking instead. Another such device was "social disapproval", with the child not being punished by the parents but rather by his or her peers, who would bring group pressure to get the child into line. A professor of psychology at the University of Florida had commented that parents who used that latter device apparently did not realize that social disapproval was the most cruel type of punishment, as the child was forced to take it in the form of ridicule and ostracism, that it was not nearly so traumatic for a five-year old to be spanked by the mother as it was for friends to leave the child out of a game. Mr. Whitman indicates that there might even be psychological cruelty to the child when deserved punishment was withheld, that children had a built-in sense of fairness and knew when they should receive punishment.
In Miami, a formal hurricane alert was issued by the Weather Bureau this date for the southeastern coast from Daytona Beach northward to Cape Hatteras, as Hurricane Ione, packing 115 mph winds, was positioned 440 miles east of Palm Beach, moving north-northwesterly at 8 mph. It was anticipated that it would continue toward the northwest at the same forward speed for the ensuing 12 to 18 hours, slowly increasing in size and intensity. The storm forecaster in the Miami Bureau said that there was a slim chance that the storm might swing around and miss the coast, but that the situation was too vulnerable to take a chance. The Navy made plans to evacuate planes from northern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina bases, and about 200 aircraft would be flown to Atlanta, Memphis, Birmingham and Hutchinson, Kans.
Charles Kuralt of The News
continues the report on the saga of Vicki, the escaped baby elephant,
who had been on the lam since the previous Sunday morning from the
Airport Park Zoo, hiding in wooded areas in the vicinity of the park.
He indicates that the nation's top elephant expert, Louie Reed of the
Ringling Bros. Circus, was expected to arrive during the afternoon to
take command of the search for Vicki, bringing with him a small crew
of assistants. They would likely head into the woods during the
afternoon in an attempt to capture Vicki. The airport control tower
was warning incoming flights of the presence of the elephant in the
area and that it might wander onto a runway. Pilots of two planes,
one from Houston and the other from Miami, had called the tower the
previous night to inquire about the progress of the hunt, having read
about the elephant in out of town newspapers. County police had begun
the previous day to hold back the gathered crowds of civilians in the
area. There had been no sighting of the elephant for almost 24 hours,
and County police had surrounded the area off the road where the
elephant had been last seen during the previous mid-afternoon, where
it was still apparently holed up—probably, by now, having
commandeered some ammunition and a shotgun from some old, abandoned
moonshiner's shack out there in the woods, maybe that of Whisky Bob,
moved from California in around 1890 when the heat became too hot,
ready to fight back against the common horde. Who will win this
epic battle, on which the very fate of humanity might depend?
Another story indicates that the elephant had been named for former Charlotte Mayor Victor Shaw, and that he was sorely disappointed at the elephant, as he had campaigned for adding it to the Airport Park Zoo while Mayor and had received some contributions toward that end, with one constituent having sent him an elephant ear. It had been planned that on October 29, the Charlotte chapter of the Society for the Preservation of Barber Shop Singing in America, Inc., would present a concert in the new Ovens Auditorium, with former Mayor Shaw as master of ceremonies, at which time he had planned to present Vicki on the stage as part of the concert. But now, even if the wayward elephant was recaptured, Mr. Shaw had doubts about the presentation. The elephant was not only un-vidied but also un-vicied.
On the editorial page, "Homework for Bewildered Americans" indicates that in Charlotte and throughout the nation, the Daughters of the American Revolution had provided the assignment to read the Constitution, which the piece finds a project of considerable merit, given that it was "an era of uneasy fears and forebodings" about the meaning of the document.
The Charlotte DAR group, representing six local chapters, was working hard to promote the assignment during Constitution Week, September 17-23, as proclaimed by Congress and the President, at the insistence of the DAR. It finds that if the organization could attract the close attention of just a few Americans to the project, it would contribute to the strength of the republic, as an understanding of the guiding principles and rules of democracy were contained therein.
It counsels that reading the document alone was not good enough, that because of the complexity behind the rather simple language, it was necessary to view it within its historical perspective, stretching from the Magna Carta in 1215 to the struggle against the Stuart tyranny of England in the 17th Century. It posits that the Constitution which had emerged had been a sound political balance between the traditions of freedom and authority. In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall had written, in the seminal case of McCulloch v. Maryland, that it was "a constitution intended to endure for ages to come and, consequently, to be adopted to the various crises of human affairs."
It finds that the Constitution was a living document and one which could and should be constantly adapted to the problems of the present, that it was, in every sense, a continuing instrument of government.
Perhaps, the DAR had changed since having, in 1939, denied access to its Constitution Hall in Washington to Marian Anderson, then invited by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to sing instead on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and again, in October, 1945, having denied permission to Hazel Scott, wife of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell of New York, to perform in the hall.
"It Seemed an Emergency Case" tells of the current issue of The Rotarian relating of a project by one Rotary Club in Lynchburg, Va., wherein, in 1920, a Rotarian had paid a call at the Henry farm, where only the grandmother remained to care for the seven youngsters who had been orphaned by the terrible influenza epidemic of 1918. Soon after the visit, the grandmother had died, and the Rotarians of Lynchburg stepped in to fill the void, for, "It seemed an emergency case." The club purchased a house in Lynchburg, hired a housekeeper and had one of its members designated the legal guardian of the Henry children, costing the club ultimately more than $50,000. After the passage of 35 years, the investment had earned back the money sevenfold, as all of the Henry children had been married and were parents, with one of the girls being a graduate nurse and a grandmother, another a former teacher, and the third married to an Army major. The youngest boy was the associate justice of Norfolk's juvenile court, the oldest being the county agent, the third, a veterinarian, while the fourth was a graduate agronomist. It salutes the Lynchburg Rotarians and other such organizations, as well as the Henrys.
"Say 'Ough'" tells of Mark Twain grumbling that the name was spelled "Vinci" while being pronounced as "Vinchy", adding that, "Foreigners always spell better than they pronounce." (He might have noted that "veni, vidi, vici" is actually pronounced as "weni, widi, wiki", the "v" in Latin always receiving the "w" pronunciation, which is why un-Latinized lawyers sound like utter idiots when talking of jury "venires", but such are the conventions that if one mentioned one's client wishing a new "wenire"...)
It indicates that in searching around for a rhyme for "—ough", it had realized the plight of foreigners learning English pronunciation, as the combination of letters had numerous sounds attached to them, as cough, dough, bough, tough, through and hiccough. It concludes that foreigners did not need a dictionary to learn English, but rather a divining rod. (It leaves out "trough", which, we trow, is slightly different from "cough", more at "through".)
"A Bit of Honey and a New Year" indicates that for more than 2,000 years, Rosh Hashanah was the day on which Jewish mothers dropped a bit of honey on bread before giving it to their children, the idea being first to wish them a "sweet" new year, and second to impress them with the importance of daily living. It posits that the symbol of honey had been valuable in imparting sweetness of life, as no one in history had hung on to life more doggedly than Jews. This date marked the new year of 5716, which dated from the Creation, as related in Genesis, according to Jewish tradition.
The festival had been first observed during the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C., the beginning of the historical process which the Jews brought down to present civilization to "remember the days of old". Upon their return to Jerusalem some 80 years afterward, the festival had been continued, bringing to the newly created altar the first offerings and the memorable reading of the Bible by Ezra. The Jews had not forgotten that history and tradition, remembering the days of old wherever they settled since those ancient times. It extends to the Jewish citizens of Charlotte and the Carolinas its wishes for a Happy New Year of 5716.
A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "H. L. M. and the U.S.A.", writes a 75th birthday salutation to Henry L. Mencken, "the Baltimore friend of beer-boozers, beat-walkers, chorus floozies, German music-makers, the lower orders of bar and bench, and reporters trying to pay obstetricians by selling a piece to the magazines." While in awe of his "sharp eye for bunk and hokum," it confesses that it was a selfish lament because he was no longer putting forth from his typewriter his typical acerbic criticism of distinguished statesmen, reigning professors, designers of multi-colored automobiles, dream-readers, Legion commanders and "other such expositors of the American heritage." It misses that criticism.
It offers examples of Mr. Mencken's characterizations: "Abraham Lincoln, a Tammany Nietzsche"; William Jennings Bryan, "the Fundamentalist Pope"; Theodore Roosevelt, "emperor of mountebanks"; Calvin Coolidge, "rider of a mechanical horse who retired with three or four hundred thousand dollars of tax money in his tight jeans", and holding the record for having "slept more than any President, whether by day or by night." It says it could go on.
It finds that one of the worst effects of politeness, cultivated in many parts of the country as a virtue, was that it muffled the "thunder of indignation, if any." It would rather have gusto raising a ruckus, starting fights and precipitating such a "Donnerwetter" that something might get done, if only for the sake of some peace and quiet.
It finds that Mr. Mencken had taken a good look at the American people, with his deceptively titled essay, "The National Letters", being more to the point in the present television age than it had been when originally published in 1920, as now, as much as at that earlier time, the nation was "paralyzed by the national fear of ideas, the democratic distrust of whatever strikes beneath the prevailing platitudes." It still had the timorous success-seekers exhibiting "exactly the right social habits, appetites and prejudices, public and private, harboring exactly the right political enthusiasm and indignations." It finds just as relevant at present his questions posed therein: "Where is intelligence? Where are ease and surety of manner? Where, above all, is courage, and in particular, moral courage—the capacity for independent thinking, for difficult problems, for what Nietzsche called the joys of labyrinth?" His caveat also was still applicable: "There is a national philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society."
It concludes that there would have to be some storms raised or greatness might elude the nation, questioning whether that would be all right and whether it would give Americans "a chance to beat Calvin Coolidge's sleeping record".
Drew Pearson, in Sancti-Spiritus, Cuba, tells of El Presidente Fulgencio Batista having arrived in the inland city, dressed in a white suit which was starched and immaculate, but had no lapels on his coat, causing Mr. Pearson to wonder why that was so. A few minutes later, the answer presented itself when the plane door opened and he was greeted with a roar and a sea of hands clutching at him, with the crowd pushing, pleading and mauling to get near him, in what was the "most vociferous, enthusiastic and uncontrolled sea of humanity" Mr. Pearson had ever witnessed. El Presidente had to wade through it to get from his plane to his awaiting car, eventually making it, while Mr. Pearson had to navigate the same crowd to his special car with a special escort, which nevertheless became stuck in a stream of trucks loaded with sugar field workers, buses full of pretty girls, and passenger cars loaded with people. All had turned out to greet the "so-called dictator" of Cuba, despite it being a steaming hot day. They moved forward only a few feet at a time and had to wait for what seemed like a few hours to reach the downtown public square where El Presidente was set to speak, taking a total of 2 1/2 hours from the airport.
When they arrived, El Presidente looked like he had gone swimming, minus his coat lacking lapels so that the crowd could not clutch him, having been ripped to shreds in the interim. He was greeted as if a god.
Mr. Pearson observes that El Presidente was supposed to have more enemies in Havana than Mr. Pearson had in Washington, but that they were not evident in Sancti-Spiritus. He had no guards around him, and anyone could have taken a shot at him from within the crowd or from a rooftop, with Mr. Pearson indicating that he could not help but think of it, as he had been in the line of fire.
Later in the day, he had driven to Trinidad, the ancient city tucked in the foothills of central Cuba, where, on a mountaintop, El Presidente had built a modern sanitarium to cope with one of the worst scourges of the tropics, tuberculosis. The sanitarium had the latest American equipment and looked down from the mountains over the jungled hills to the Caribbean sparkling in the sun below. It had first been started when El Presidente had controlled Cuba in 1938 and had just about been completed when he was out of office in 1944, at which point his political enemies came in and all work was stopped, with much of the equipment taken back to Havana and sold. The opposition wanted no medical monument to Sr. Batista, regardless of how much it might help the sick and the poor. Eight years later, Sr. Batista threw out the opposition and returned to power, finishing the hospital, which now housed 350 patients and received warm praise from Tony Varona, the former prime minister of the Prio Government, who was visiting the hospital when Mr. Pearson arrived. At the time, former President Prio was calling the hospital "bunk". Mr. Pearson indicates that such was why some people cursed Cuban politics, claiming that the U.S. never should have left Cuba.
Walter Lippmann indicates that there was no necessary connection between the agreement made between the Soviets and West Germany during the visit of West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to Moscow, during which a formal announcement was made of resumption of diplomatic relations after resolution of the German prisoner of war issue. The resumption of diplomatic relations had been determined in West Germany by the time it had joined NATO in the spring, with private talks having transpired through unofficial channels prior to that. Neither the Soviets nor the West German Government had come to the decision as a means of doing the other a favor, and neither had anything to offer the other as a valuable quid pro quo for entering the agreement.
Rather, it was to the advantage of both governments for each to have diplomatic representatives in the capital of the other. For West Germany it meant that it was no longer dependent on receiving information regarding the Soviets and East Germans through representatives of the U.S., Britain and France, which would lead only to misunderstanding and confusion, as well as secret contact between West Germany and the Soviets and East Germans. The Soviets had reason for resumption of diplomatic relations based on the fact, in part, that talks between the two embassy staffs could occur without the presence of representatives of either the State Department or the British Foreign Office.
It was probable from the beginning that there would be concession by the Soviets on the prisoners they held, and that the real issue had been how much prestige the Soviets were willing to allow Chancellor Adenauer to have out of that concession and how much prestige it would reserve for the satellite in East Germany. Substantively, the reunification of Germany was not an immediate or urgent subject of negotiation, as there was no way at present to reach an agreement on the eastern frontier of Germany, as Chancellor Adenauer could not sign a peace treaty with the Soviets agreeing to the loss of East German territory beyond the Oder-Neisse line, even assuming he got everything else he wanted, while the Soviets could not give up that territory or any part of it, as doing so would wreck Soviet relations with Poland.
Mr. Lippmann indicates that while diplomatic relations could have been established without the visit of Chancellor Adenauer, in all likelihood, both governments thought that the visit had been useful and that they had gained from it, as the Chancellor was able to eliminate the charge brought by his opponents in Germany that he was disqualified from negotiating with the Soviets, while Moscow would now have an embassy in Bonn, enabling it to make contact not only with the West German Government but with the dissident members of the Government coalition and with the Social Democratic opposition.
He concludes that the West need not have fear that any secret understanding had been reached during the conference, as Chancellor Adenauer was a man of his word and the situation was not ripe for negotiations regarding the major issue of German reunification because of the inability on both sides to negotiate the territorial issues.
Stewart Alsop, in Belgrade, indicates that the recent cozying up to Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia by the Soviets did not mean that he was now their ally and no longer an ally of the U.S., as had been the situation during the reign of Stalin, after the break between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. But the Soviets had made headway with their visit, even though there was no danger of Yugoslavia again becoming a Soviet satellite or formally rejoining the Eastern bloc. The danger, however, was that Yugoslavia would become a type of fellow-traveler of the East, sometimes criticizing Soviet policy, but generally supporting the Soviets and running interference for them, a capacity which would be more useful to the Kremlin than would Yugoslavia in its old satellite status. The Soviet leaders had been adept during their visit in developing the new role for Yugoslavia, having promised to cancel 90 million dollars worth of debt owed by Yugoslavia to the Soviet Union, while also promising a loan of another 90 million dollars, desperately needed by Yugoslavia to pay off 130 million dollars worth of loans to the West, made while the Soviet blockade had been in effect during the time of the banishment of Yugoslavia from the Comintern, with most of the countries of Western Europe now calling for the debt to be paid when due, on the coming December 31.
Meanwhile, Yugoslavia's economic situation was just short of desperate, and the Soviets, who had caused the situation in the first place, were now coming to the rescue with their generous terms of canceling debt and long-term credits, suggestive of how far the Soviets were willing to go in their courtship of Tito.
A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., comments on a letter written from Opelousas, La., regarding Louisiana yams, indicating that this writer was also from the same town, though he had left there many years earlier after his mother had died, returning to live on the small plantation his father had owned. His father had been superintendent of light, power, sewerage and water and, though he was not sure about streets, believed his job covered them also. He says that few people in rural Louisiana would think life complete without a large vegetable patch and his family's had been very large, as the family needed a lot of food. His father and grandfather had raised magnificent sweet yams, very large and when baked would exude brown baked sugar through every pore. Their French black cook baked them in the morning and then every afternoon after school, he would go to the food safe and get a couple of yams and some real cane sugar from the molasses cans for a snack. The yams had suffered from rats getting into the rows and harvesting the yams first and so he was delegated to kill the rats, which he did for awhile until he became weary of the job and borrowed a blue racer snake from a friend which did a better job of it, until the cook found out the snake was around and provided an ultimatum of getting rid of the snake or she would leave. He says that there was something about the rich central Louisiana soil which raised fine vegetables, especially yams. He thus supports every word the previous writer had said and encourages people to try once some baked yams and pork shoulder.
He got through a whole, rather lengthy letter, without mentioning race in some derogatory manner. But whether you want to accept the invitation of an avowed segregationist to try Louisiana yams is another issue. Perhaps you can just yam him, and follow or not the advice of the previous letter writer.
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