The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 6, 1955


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Geneva that Communist China had notified the U.S. this date that nine American civilians detained in China, including six women, had now been freed to return home, and that two other Americans could leave at once if they sought exit visas, while a third could leave within the ensuing 2 to 3 months. U.S. Ambassador Alexis Johnson had been meeting with the Communist Chinese Ambassador periodically since August 1, negotiating the release of 41 Americans imprisoned in China or denied exit visas. The announcement by the Communist Chinese Ambassador was the first positive result of those talks. There was no indication when the other 29 Americans not mentioned on the list would be released. The two ambassadors had agreed to continue their talks the following Saturday. American delegation members had been able to find only a partial identification for some of the Americans listed for release, none of whom had been imprisoned. The story provides those identities.

In Berlin, a civilian handed over to U.S. control by the Russians, following seven years in Soviet labor camps, had been questioned closely this date by U.S. intelligence officials to determine his claim to American citizenship, with the officials indicating that he had told "so many different stories" that his actual citizenship might be open to question. Officials said that the civilian apparently had some reason for concealing his past and they had not yet discovered what that reason was, with one authority saying the man acted and talked like an American. He had been handed over by the Soviets the previous day, along with an Army private and a corporal. Both of the soldiers had been missing since 1948 and could be tried as deserters. They were under guard in the Army hospital until medical examinations were completed. The three men said that they knew nothing about a report from Vienna that another American was in Soviet hands and about to be released.

During the three-day Labor Day weekend, lasting 78 hours, at least 430 persons had died in traffic accidents, with an additional 80 having drowned and 89 having died in miscellaneous accidents, for an overall total of 591, compared to the record for Labor Day, established in 1951, of 461 traffic deaths and an overall total of 658 accidental deaths. In 1954, 364 persons had died in automobile accidents during the same holiday. The National Safety Council had predicted that 400 would be killed in traffic accidents during the extended weekend. Some safety experts had contended that the high holiday death tolls in recent years had resulted in part from inadequate roads to handle the large number of automobiles in operation, with the Council estimating that 60 million motorists had been on the highways the previous afternoon and night, operating 25 million vehicles.

In Miami, it was reported by the Weather Bureau that Hurricane Flora was making a sweeping curve this date which would keep it in the open Atlantic and away from the American mainland. It was roughly 1,000 miles from the nearest mainland point at Nantucket, and about 560 miles southeast of Bermuda, with 100 mph winds.

In Raleigh, as thousands of North Carolina children returned to school this date, there had been no reports by mid-morning of any black students seeking enrollment in white schools. In general throughout the state, local school boards had announced that schools would be operated during the school year on the same segregated basis as in the past. Among the school systems opening the previous week, there had been two incidents in which black children had sought to enter white schools, at Old Fort and Scotland Neck, in both cases the children having been denied admission. Enrollment during the school year was expected to pass one million for the first time, whereas the previous year enrollment had reached 997,000, increasing at the rate of about 28,000 students per year. In Raleigh, a plan by black leaders to make a test case of the school segregation issue apparently had been called off at the last moment, with the Raleigh Citizens Association the previous night having requested that black parents and children who had agreed to present themselves at white schools at this date's opening, refrain from doing so. The Association said that it took the action because it had been presented with no legal approaches to desegregation in the city and because of the tense climate of the local situation in Raleigh. The Raleigh school superintendent said that school opening had occurred without incident.

Charles Kuralt of The News tells of the first day of school in Charlotte, as seen in one first grade classroom. (Will he read, after he learns to add?) A record 27,000 students registered for classes this date, an abbreviated session in all of the schools. Problems of class assignment occupied most of the morning for the 1,100 teachers in the system. The following day's session would also be abbreviated, ending at 1:00. Cafeterias would open in all of the schools on Thursday, except at the new Eastway Junior High School, with the latter still having work done to complete its cafeteria, necessitating that students there would be excused early on Thursday as well. More than 2,500 students entered the first grade this date, also a record number, an increase of approximately 300 over the previous year.

Dick Young of The News indicates that further contention that Charlotte ought be designated as a midway point along airline routes had been made by the Washington attorney representing the city in the current airline hearings before the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington.

In Raleigh, an escaped convict serving a life term had been recaptured this date after briefly kidnaping a man from Cary and taking his car, then wrecking it in Rockingham. He had escaped from a caged prison truck the previous night while being transferred from the Jackson County Prison Camp to Central Prison in Raleigh.

In Forest City, N.C., a mother returned from an errand this date to find her two-room frame home ablaze, and she was able to rescue the youngest of her three children, but the other two had perished. The mother stated that she had lit an oil stove in the home and then gone on the errand, returning a few minutes later when she heard the children calling. The father was away working on a job in a sawmill near Gaffney, S.C.

In Toulon, France, a French surgeon worked three hours the previous day to remove a three-inch nail from the head of a young woman, after she had ostensibly only suffered burns and scratches in an explosion a few weeks earlier in a Paris fireworks store where she worked. She had, however, complained of constant headaches and an X-ray disclosed that a nail had entered her skull and lodged between the brain and the bone, with doctors indicating that it had probably entered through the left eye socket without injuring her eye.

Assistant Postmaster General Albert Robertson said this date that use of the 12 apostles as subjects for new stamps would draw criticism, responding to the criticism over the selection of Robert E. Lee for a stamp. He said that the inscription, "In God We Trust", had also drawn objections. A retired Kansas judge and former Army officer had criticized the selection of General Lee, calling him "a rebel, a turncoat, a perjurer and a traitor". Mr. Robertson said, however, that generally the stamp had met with favorable reaction. The stamp was to be issued on September 21.

In Springfield, Ill., a detective was stopped on his way to work the previous day by a five-year old boy who wanted to show the detective his collection of parking tickets taken from the windshields of cars, as the boy lived near one of the city's biggest municipal parking lots. Motorists had been complaining for months that a delinquent notice had been sent to them for parking citations never received. The boy's mother assured the police that her son would stop his collection.

On the editorial page, "Tar Heel Teacher Shortage Persists" indicates that the shortage of public school teachers had been a national problem for years, that in the postwar decade, it had received more publicity than any other deficit in the social structure, with the possible exception of juvenile delinquency. It was commonplace for teachers to hold two jobs to support families and numerous published articles discussed the drift of teachers into other professions.

The publicity and the coordinated political efforts of the teachers had in many areas resulted in increases in teacher salaries and massive efforts to improve school facilities. But as student enrollment continued to climb, the new facilities were filled as fast as they were finished. In Mecklenburg County, school leaders had wondered where they would put the hundreds of new students. A shortage of white teachers persisted in North Carolina, although there was a surplus of black teachers, with North Carolina Facts estimating that the white teacher shortage numbered 609 while the black teacher surplus was 582. (The piece does not suggest that there was a simple way to balance off that surplus against the shortage, for that, after all, would still have been something of a heresy even in the post-Brown era of late 1955, down heya.)

In 1954, some 2,000 white college graduates had received teacher certificates, but only 1,360 of them had actually become teachers the following school year, and only 1,180 had become teachers within the state. The number of black graduates with teacher qualifications who had actually become teachers was even smaller, a function of the surplus of black teachers.

It indicates that the teacher shortage had produced even greater and continuing public interest in the schools, as it suggested more than merely the overcrowding and lack of individual attention to students, raising also the question of the quality of education. Generally, it concludes, the community offering teachers the least would get the least qualified instruction for its children.

"Touch of Sanity in Support Picture" indicates that the Agriculture Department officials probably courted sleep by counting warehouses full of cheese, butter, wheat and other products piled up in quantity under the farm price support program. Butter had once been a major problem, with the warehouses piled with butter consigned to the Government while housewives complained of the high price in the stores and instead purchased substitutes.

Now, it appeared that things were changing, though perhaps only momentarily, as the Government was planning to get out of the butter business by the end of the year, leaving it to reach its own level in the market and also reducing the cost of the crop support program. Government purchases at the end of July had been down 55 percent, to 159 million pounds, compared to the prior year, and the stockpile had fallen 60 percent during the year, from 456 million pounds to 184 million. According to U.S. News & World Report, the reasons for the change were increased consumption and less production of milk, the former a direct result of an advertising program undertaken by the American Dairy Association and the birth of four million babies, the drop in production resulting from a drop in the support price from 90 to 75 percent in April, 1954. With less milk produced and more consumed, there was a lower amount of surplus milk to be made into butter.

Whether that situation continued depended in large part on the dairy farmers, indicating that if they pressured Congress to push support prices upward again and if a record supply of cut-rate feed grain was converted into milk, the warehouses would start again filling up with butter made from the surplus milk, causing the price to consumers again to rise. It concludes that there might be doubt as to whether the farm economy could healthily adjust to the new situation, but the housewife would have no trouble.

"Fragment of the Autumn Ritual" finds that "so much of autumns past is part of autumns future that the eye turned backward dwells on the happenings of the future." It explains with an anecdotal rendering of a family going to town one morning, sitting on a two-horse wagon packed the night before, during which the man handed cotton up in baskets to a boy packing it down with tired feet, eventually wondering whether the full wagon would weigh 500 pounds, with his father saying it was more like 425. They then had gone through the dusk to the well for a cool drink, then to the table and to bed. When the morning came "with a haze full of kitchen smoke", the boy quickly got out of bed, worrying that the mules with bridles thrust too quickly. "And there was a shiver in his stomach that didn't come from the morning chill, but was all bound up with a day out of the fields with his back straight and a day in town, and a little money to spend, the sound of the gin, all bound up with going to town on the first bale of cotton."

From whence the inspiration for this piece of creative writing derived is not explained, whether from a personal anecdote of the writer, observation, relation by a third person, or imagination, from something read, perhaps in a novel. But for Emmett Till, murdered in the early morning hours of August 28, the symbol of the cotton gin would be as a millstone, taking him to his death at the hands of two half-brothers looking backward, consumed in ignorance by an informal system of sanctions, to late summers and the incipient autumns a century earlier, perhaps experienced by their progenitors, perhaps not, perhaps only imagined out of latter-day novels and movies, or just loose talk at cotton harvest, representing that past in romanticized tales of some better life, perceived as uncomplicated by the perils of modernity, a time, to the extent that it ever existed, best left buried in the hot, humid cauldron of enforced servitude on both sides of the threatened lash that it was. It was not so much hate which murdered Emmett Till as it was the enslavement of the perpetrators to a failure of appreciation of the more probable actuality of those earlier times in the bleak, largely uninhabited Mississippi delta region, the actual reasons for that sparse settlement, and consequently the easily accessible mundanity of what the inherently hyperbolic tales of those who regaled them actually hid.

One of the half-brothers, according to two eyewitnesses in statements to law enforcement and in subsequent trial testimony, went to the well in the early morning light on August 28, to spell himself from a different kind of task, not the baling of cotton for market, but in his mind, the administration of the informal means necessary for preservation of a system slipping away under formal enforcement from without, enforcement over which a war had been fought and concluded in utter and complete vanquishment 90 years earlier, but with insistence by those regaled with the tales, accepting without question the elders' spell of hell, that the earlier defeat would neither be in vain nor forgot, that "lest we forget", inscribed on the base of the redundant statue adorning the courthouse lawn, would become a nest and a net for those unable to lose the tears from their courted whore-louse song, offered in obeisance to the South, personified as woman.

It should be noted at this juncture, incidentally, that the case against the two half-brothers was being prosecuted in each of the two neighboring counties, the murder indictment having been brought in Tallahatchie County because the body was discovered in the Tallahatchie River there, though it was never ascertained precisely where the murder occurred, where the fatal gunshot was fired into Emmett's head, presumably the cause of death, while the kidnaping charge was being brought separately in LeFlore County, the location of the home of Emmett's uncle, from which he was taken. (The above-linked editorial from the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville, Miss., indicates that the Tallahatchie sheriff had blood evidence from a bridge in that county, but no such evidence would ever be presented at trial and so presumably the blood did not match that of Emmett Till—drawing blood for potential matching from the half-brothers inevitably giving rise to Fifth Amendment objections by the defense, but see Schmerber v. California, a Supreme Court case decided in 1966, regarding drawing blood samples without specific consent by the accused under the implied consent law and exigent circumstances attendant traffic stops or accidents involving motorists on the public highways.) Usually, kidnaping consists of asportation against the will of the person moved, other than in the course of the commission of another crime when the movement is only incidental to that crime, though the latter exception is not suggested by the facts in this case. Just why the asportation element would not therefore have been present also in Tallahatchie County, that is the necessary movement of Emmett from LeFlore County to the location where the murder was presumably committed in Tallahatchie County, begs reasonable understanding, except as a function of local politics and jealousy over which sheriff obtained jurisdictional venue, perhaps understandable in the context that Sheriff H. C. Strider of Tallahatchie County had shown quite a bit of bias in favor of the half-brothers, conjuring up the preposterous theory that the murder was the work of the NAACP as part of "outside agitation" to stir up racial tension and that the body taken from the river was not that of a 14-year old but rather of a grown man, while Sheriff George Smith of LeFlore County was behaving with professionalism in the manner of an unbiased law enforcement officer. There is also the notion that the stronger case for kidnaping could be made against the brothers in LeFlore County as opposed to that as part of the murder scenario, wherein they had not been positively identified during the course of forcible asportation, with the concern that if they tried them in Tallahatchie County for kidnaping, double jeopardy would have precluded prosecution in LeFlore for kidnaping in the event of acquittal in Tallahatchie. But the evidence from LeFlore, including the admissions by the brothers of the kidnaping, would have been admissible on the kidnaping charge when tried in Tallahatchie, as a continuous course of conduct, just as it was in the murder trial, still therefore leaving the probable reason for the separate county prosecutions as purely one of politics and practicalities, given the stance of the Tallahatchie sheriff.

In any event, the case would thus proceed to the Tallahatchie petit jury for trial on September 19 only on the murder charge, and subsequently, in November, the LeFlore County grand jury, presumably based on the acquittal of the two brothers for murder, would refuse to indict them for kidnaping, though there is no continuity of logic, legally or otherwise, in that refusal. Kidnaping can occur separately from murder, although when committed, as alleged in this case, in a continuous, uninterrupted skein of events, would implicate the felony-murder rule as a murder committed during the course of a kidnaping, and thus make all participants in the kidnaping also culpable for the murder, though entirely dependent on Mississippi state law at the time regarding felony-murder. Felony-murder would not have been necessary to prove, however, to obtain the death penalty or a life sentence in any event, as both kidnaping and murder were capital offenses at that time in Mississippi.

Query, however, whether double jeopardy considerations would have, in any event, barred a subsequent prosecution for kidnaping committed as part of the same course of conduct as the murder, after an acquittal on the latter charge. While ordinarily that might have been the case, there arises under these facts the issue of whether the acquittal for murder would necessarily have prevented the kidnaping prosecution, as the acquittal had to assume either that the identity of the two brothers as participants in the murder was not adequately proven, or that the preposterous theory advanced by the defense that the body was not adequately identified as that of Emmett Till was ultimately accepted as the basis for exculpation—aside from the obvious reason, that the jury was simply engaged in old Mississippi nullification, a time-honored tradition in cases involving race. Would the jury's failure to find beyond a reasonable doubt sufficient evidence of the brothers' guilt of murder—despite the identification of them at the uncle's home as the kidnapers and their own admission of having abducted Emmett, as stated at trial, at page 116 et seq., through Sheriff Smith who interviewed one of them, and Deputy John Ed Cothran who interviewed the other, as the latter testified at page 141 et seq.—, have also necessarily implied that the jury found insufficient evidence of their identification as the kidnapers? Their admission of the kidnaping, it would appear, would cut off any double jeopardy argument aborning, as the jury's verdict on the murder charge, with conclusive evidence of the brothers' guilt of the kidnaping before them, would have to assume, to make any sense, that the kidnaping ended, consistent with their statements to the officers that they let Emmett go, before the course of conduct leading to the murder began. If the state of the evidence had been such that a finding of not guilty on the murder charge had necessarily implied that the jury had to have also found lack of sufficient evidence of culpability on the kidnaping, then double jeopardy would likely, depending on state law at the time, have precluded further prosecution on the kidnaping, though not charged in the first trial.

We shall deal with the further evidence of guilt of murder heard by the jury later, when we get to the time of trial herein. It is, of course, academic, as the brothers, by their own subsequent admission in the Look article of the ensuing January, did commit the murder.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Where's He Been?" indicates that the Charlotte News, in an editorial, had wondered whether people were suddenly taking themselves too seriously, noting that 25 years earlier, a rash of tree sitters had been observed over the state, including two hefty Charlotte housewives, with the News longing for the era of flagpole sitters, marathon dancers and goldfish swallowers evident in the summer of 1930. Compared with the lost eras of "marvelous nonsense", the editorial had found the "Summer of 1955 pale indeed."

It wonders whether the News had not noticed that a million children presently insisted on donning coonskin caps in the manner of Davy Crockett and were arming themselves with all manner of weapons, that the spaceman craze had caught on, or that the Air Force had announced it would soon be making artificial moonshine. If those were not enough to make the summer of 1955 lively, it posits that the newspaper should consider the recent search for the Abominable Snowman and the crossword puzzle craze among newspaper readers. It concludes that people were as crazy as ever and that absurdities were not a long-lost art. It says that its neighbor's six-year old children had just run out into the yard and announced, "Let's play Hurricane Connie." Thus, plenty of "marvelous nonsense" remained.

"Paragraphs" presents a series of seven squibs from various newspapers, which you may read on your own, the column having obviously run out of anything else to say.

Drew Pearson's column, still being written by staff while Mr. Pearson was on vacation, indicates that the Army had uncovered evidence that some American prisoners of war had come home from North Korea with Communist espionage assignments, having been so well indoctrinated by their captors that they had accepted the secret missions, which they now carried out through the Communist Party in the U.S. The information had been revealed behind closed doors at the Pentagon by Capt. Bert Cumby of the Army, who interrogated the tough cases during the Korean prisoner exchange program. He told a Defense Department committee that some former POW's had actually confessed to Communist missions, while others, based on reliable sources, were suspected of so participating. He insisted that the other services should also seek out such information for the security of their installations as well as their personnel.

Flood relief to New England, devastated by the backlash of Hurricane Diane, was lagging, with Federal agency heads, summoned to discuss the crisis with the President, coming up with many different legal arguments why they could not help, in response to which the President had ordered them to cut the red tape and stormed out of the room. To prevent future floods, the President would ask Congress for new flood control projects in his State of the Union message the following January. A heavy stench still hung over the flooded towns and most of the drinking water remained contaminated, with rats as large as cats having materialized out of nowhere in basements and amid debris. Flood-damaged vehicles had been cleaned up and shipped to the South and Midwest.

Ousted Air Force Secretary Harold Talbott was seeking to get back into the Air Force as a consultant.

Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, which had produced most of the problematic Salk vaccine leading to breakthrough cases in the spring before the program of inoculation was for a time suspended, having since been cleared of any negligence on its part, had offered to provide children of stockholders first option at the vaccine when the polio season hit the following year.

Former President Truman's political attacks on President Eisenhower had precipitated a news wisecrack: Don't hit a man while he's up.

The Budget Bureau, eager to get the Federal budget balanced prior to the 1956 general election, had ordered all Federal agencies to cut costs drastically, with the Air Force being the worst hit, ordered to cut its commitments by 1.4 billion dollars. Chief of staff of the Air Force General Nathan Twining, together with an Air Force delegation, had gone to see Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson during his vacation in Michigan to argue against the cuts.

General Lemuel Shepherd, the Marine Corps commandant, was forcing a rival into retirement, Maj. General "Chesty" Puller, who had been talked up as General Shepherd's successor, prompting General Shepherd to overrule the retirement board when it voted to continue General Puller on active duty.

The Weather Bureau would attempt to break up future hurricanes by seeding them with dry ice, provided Congress would appropriate the money. Previously, the Bureau had regarded cloud seeding as being too risky to use on hurricanes given the uncertainty of knowledge of the storms, but after the terrible toll taken by Hurricane Connie in mid-August, it had decided that something had to be done.

Atomic scientists had simplified the hydrogen bomb so that it could be carried by a fighter-bomber, with the smaller version having power equal to a million tons of TNT.

Research on an atomic airplane was far enough along that the Air Force, in another three months, would load its experimental atomic engine into the back of a B-36 for tests at high altitudes. You keep that over someone else's neighborhood.

The Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report altered a Government document to influence public opinion in favor of the big power companies, disguising it to make it appear as an official document and omitting a dissent to the report by Congressman Chet Holifield of California.

Senator Herman Welker of Idaho had been so busy golfing and fishing that he had turned down speaking requests and refused to do his chores for constituents.

Ailing Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, under doctors' orders to give up cigarettes as he recovered from his early July heart attack, always kept a pack within arm's reach to test his will power.

Leslie Biffle, the Democratic pollster, former secretary of the Senate, would soon put on his chicken-farmer disguise and head for the grassroots to sample voter opinion for the coming election year—referring to his efforts in 1948 when he reported back to President Truman that he had a fighting chance in that election despite the professional pollsters' opinion uniformly to the contrary.

Parade Magazine editor Jess Gorkin was chasing scoops in Russia, becoming the first Sunday-supplement editor admitted behind the Iron Curtain.

The improved Egyptian Army was still no match for the tough Israeli Army, according to American military observers.

The British Government, plagued by loss of trade, was painfully planning another era of belt-tightening.

Ambassador to England Winthrop Aldrich had sent a plaintive cable to the State Department complaining that Congressmen were overrunning London, each wanting royal treatment, taxing British hospitality.

Doris Fleeson, in Jerusalem, tells of Simchah Mandelbaum having had greatness thrust on him, the Mandelbaum Gate being known to thousands of tourists in the Middle East as the only point on Israel's borders through which they could pass from Arab territory into Israel, positioned in Jerusalem on the border dividing the old city, in Trans-Jordan, from the new, the Israeli capital.

The "gate" was actually a roadblock about 100 yards long, with police checkpoints at either end, one in Israel and one in Jordan. Halfway between the checkpoints, the road crossed an open square with three other roads radiating from it, but all had been blocked. Mr. Mandelbaum, a textile merchant, had merely been forced to vacate his small house on that square in the spring of 1948 when the Arab Legion decided it would be a good point for a breakthrough with armored cars, before they were repulsed by Israelis with Molotov cocktails. Mr. Mandelbaum's house had escaped damage and when the truce came, it was picked as a suitable place for talks between the commanders of the old and new cities—much as the McLean house at Appomattox in 1865. Mr. Mandelbaum had protested, however, of use of his house and wanted it back after the talks had concluded, was said to have been indifferent to his world fame right up to the time he had died recently, had only wanted the return of his house. But his wife, who still ran the family textile business and made a good living from it, stated that was not the case, that she enjoyed her place in history.

The press had dubbed the square "Mandelbaum Square" and police sergeants on duty were called Mandelbaum Sergeants, the crossings, Mandelbaum Crossings, and the Mixed Armistice Commission met at Mandelbaum House.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of members of Congress voting on average 90 percent of the time on roll call votes and even when they did not vote, most had gone on record by announcing their positions. Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina had voted on 97 percent of the Senate's 87 roll call votes and Senator Kerr Scott of North Carolina had voted on 91 percent. Representative Charles Jonas had voted on 95 percent of the 76 House roll calls during the session. The latter had informed the constituents of Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties on another one percent of the roll calls.

Republicans and Democratic Senators averaged 86 percent response in each party, somewhat below the House average. Midwestern Democratic Senators led in their response rate at 92 percent, followed by Southern Democrats, at 88 percent, Western Democrats, at 83 percent and Eastern Democrats, at 77 percent. Among Republicans, those from the East and West tied at 88 percent response rates, followed by the Midwest, at 83 percent, with no Republican Senators coming from the South. The lowest response rate among Republican Senators was Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas, at 60 percent, while 21 Republicans scored 90 percent or higher. Among Democrats, John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who had been ill for most of the session, recuperating from his nearly fatal fall, 1954 back surgery, had the lowest score at 23 percent, while James Murray of Montana had a 49 percent voting rate. Twenty-seven Democrats scored 90 percent or higher. Four Senators had perfect response rates, Spessard Holland of Florida, John Stennis of Mississippi, William Knowland of California and Frederick Payne of Maine.

Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, the Minority Whip, scored 92 percent, while Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson of Texas, who had also missed much of the session because of illness, had scored a 56 percent response rate. Majority Whip Earle Clements of Kentucky had voted on 79 percent of the roll calls, filling in for Senator Johnson when he was absent.

The greatest overall response rate among Senators was registered on the vote regarding cutting of individual income taxes, when 94 Senators had voted, while the smallest roll call response regarded ratification of the Austrian independence treaty, when only 66 Senators voted. On 32 of the 97 roll calls, 86 or more Senators had voted.

It notes that absences were often caused by illness or conflicting official duties and that some major issues were decided without roll call votes. A member, if a roll call were missed, could go on the record by announcing his position had he voted. Senator Ervin had gone on record on every roll call on which he did not vote, and Senator Scott had done so on 99 percent of the roll calls. Democratic Senators averaged on the record statements 96 percent of the time while Republicans did so 94 percent of the time when they did not vote. All of the regions had high marks, at the 90 percentile level or higher, for going on the record. Senators Knowland and Saltonstall went on the record on every vote when they did not vote and Senators Johnson and Clements did so 97 percent of the time.

During the prior 83rd Congress, Republicans had averaged 88 percent response to roll calls while Democrats had averaged 82 percent. Senator Ervin had responded 74 percent of the time in the prior Congress and Senator Scott had not yet become a Senator. On the record rates also rose between the prior Congress and the first session of the current Congress, with Republicans having gone from 93 to 94 percent while Democrats had gone from 94 to 96 percent.

Fred Othman, writing from McLean, Va., tells of the McLean Lions Club, of which he was a member in good standing, being pleased that Senator William Langer of North Dakota had chosen to ignore them with his picture deal, regarding photos which he deemed lewd and encouraging of juvenile delinquency. He had allowed a North Dakota Lions Club to look over his portfolio of naked women and Mr. Othman indicates that it was just as well, as they would have to explain to their wives why they were late coming home from the club, and would have to guard the 1,000 photographs from prying eyes, as well as respond to wise-cracking interviewers from newspapers about their duties as art critics.

He says that his club would stick to their own works, which consisted mainly of charitable enterprises financed by sales of electric light bulbs, kitchen brooms and spaghetti cooked by themselves. He describes the last time they had a spaghetti dinner at one dollar for all one could eat, after which the patrons claimed that they had been poisoned, but did not call the police and without a refund. They had collected, in all, $178 and he finds it better than a note of thanks from Senator Langer for the other Lions Club looking at his art gallery.

He concludes that the subject of Senator Langer's request had come up at their regular meeting the previous night, where they ate ham, peas, hot biscuits and apple pie served at a reasonable price by the ladies auxiliary of the volunteer fire department. He indicates that their meetings every two weeks were for cultural purposes and for quelling hunger. For a speaker, they had a serious young man from the Point Four international technical assistance program expounding on the subject of Africa.

A letter writer from Rock Hill, S.C., comments on the editorial "New Violence Sprouts from Old Seed", pointing out the issue of territorial borders confronting Secretary of State Dulles in the current Arab-Israeli dispute, having commented that there was no agreement on the correct borders, with Jordan claiming Jerusalem while Israel occupied half of it, and Israel claiming the Gaza Strip, while Egypt occupied it. He suggests that Secretary Dulles and British Prime Minister Anthony Eden ought be aware of the price which Egypt demanded for its cooperation with the West, that Egyptian leaders appeared to want to create an atmosphere of crisis at home and abroad, that they believed that if Egypt had a direct link with Jordan and Syria, both of those states would have maintained a more determined position against the Western-oriented Turkish-Iraqi pact. He indicates that 60 percent of Israel's total land area lay in the desert region of the Negev, rich in the source material for Israel's sorely needed fertilizer, its only source of phosphate and many raw materials. To the south of the Negev was Israel's only port facing Africa, Elath. The Negev was sought by Jordan and Egypt, but had been awarded to Israel by the U.N.'s 1947 partition resolution. He finds it not unusual therefore for Russia to have offered arms to Egypt and indicates that any attempt to realign Palestine's borders would be forcibly opposed by Israel. He says that the recent violence along the border of the Gaza Strip had coincided with the withdrawal of Egyptian representatives from talks being held between the two sides under the direction of the head of the U.N. Truce Commission in Palestine, Maj. General E. L. M. Burns. The refusal of Egypt to help find a resolution to peace, he predicts, might boomerang, finding that Russian meddling in the region posed a threat to the free world's stake in that area.

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