The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 20, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Indian custodial command had this date completed its transfer to the U.N. Command of 21,809 North Korean and Chinese non-repatriating prisoners, two to one Chinese, as previously stated as its intent. North Korean broadcasts were monitored which had declared that the action destroyed the Armistice. The transfer operation had gone smoothly, and the North Korean and Chinese prisoners often sang and cheered in the rain and mud. Many had been in captivity for more than three years. The Indian command said that 72 Chinese and 32 North Koreans had changed their minds and asked to go home or to a neutral country during the operation. The U.N. Command had promised to free all of the returned prisoners at midnight on January 22. The 349 American, British and South Korean prisoners who had refused repatriation and were also scheduled to be returned to the Communists this date remained in their demilitarized zone compound, as the Communists refused to accept them. Peiping radio was heard to continue the Communist objection to the release of the prisoners prior to the peace conference determination of their fate, but made no active threats of retaliation for the release, which was consistent with the Armistice terms.

France sent a squadron of warships this date to its base in Algeria at Mers-El-Kebir, within easy striking distance of Spanish Morocco, but the Government said that it had no connection with France's warnings the previous day to Spain against any move to split the Spanish-ruled protectorate from the Sultanate of Rabat. According to a French Foreign Ministry spokesman, the squadron included an aircraft carrier and a cruiser had steamed into the Mediterranean base for target practice scheduled months earlier.

Senator Walter George of Georgia urged Republicans this date to vote on a particularly controversial section of the proposed constitutional amendment sponsored by Senator John W. Bricker regarding extension of the ratification requirement for treaties to executive agreements made by the President. Senator George said that he believed it was fair for Senator Bricker, as he had proposed, to submit to a roll call test the section of the proposed amendment which dealt with giving the states power to nullify within their own borders the operations of treaties to preserve states' rights. Senator George said that many of the Senators who favored adoption of the amendment did not want to vote for that clause because they believed it went too far and that he would likely vote to eliminate it as would a majority of the Senators. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland said that he had not given up hope on a compromise arrangement and would not make up his mind whether to bring the provision to a Senate vote until he knew that further conferences would not produce agreement. Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, chairman of the Republican policy committee, expressed similar hopes.

Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks refused to let a Minnesota exporter ship surplus American butter to Russia, the Department issuing the directive the previous night without comment. Secretary Weeks told newsmen the previous Friday that he would not approve a license to permit shipment of butter to Russia at a cost "considerably lower" than prices paid by American housewives. The proposed payment by Russia was to have been 50 cents per pound, whereas the support price paid by the Government to dairymen was 65 cents while consumers paid between 73 and 75 cents.

The President received this date from members of his Cabinet, Republican Party officials, leaders of the Citizens for Eisenhower Committee and the White House staff, a 12.5 inch cup made of Steuben hand-cut crystal, at a ceremony in the Cabinet Room at the White House, commemorating the first anniversary of his inauguration. The cup bore the eagle of the Presidential seal, surmounting three emblems, one for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces, of which General Eisenhower had been supreme commander during World War II, the emblem from his time as Army chief of staff between 1945 and 1948, and the insignia of Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe, commemorating his time in 1951-52 as supreme commander of NATO. Scenes from his life were also depicted on the cup. Did it include the flag from the 18th green at Augusta? Did they also give a smaller one to the Vice-President, with a representation of Checkers scratching the itch cut into the crystal?

In Kansas City, three persons had been killed this date when a chartered DC-3 cargo plane crashed while attempting to land during a snowstorm at the municipal air terminal. The plane had been chartered by General Motors and crashed on the bank of the Missouri River, a short distance from the north end of the airport, and did not burn.

In Oklahoma City, a man said that he ate light bulbs because they were good for his ulcers, but the county jail physician said he had no ulcers. Prosecutors had charged that the man, who had also been known to hide razor blades under his false teeth, was trying to create the impression that he was crazy to avoid trial for robbery. A District Court jury ruled the previous day that he was sane and trial was set to begin this date.

Another blizzard swept across sections of the Rocky Mountains and plains states this date, and headed for the middle section of the country, with temperatures dropping to nearly 40 below zero in Montana, as frigid air, accompanied by snow accumulating to 3 to 6 inches, came from Canada and pushed southward into the central plains. The snow belt extended from Minnesota southwestward through Wyoming, with sub-zero temperatures being general across Montana and the Dakotas from around Duluth, Minn. In the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles, some 2,000 residents of the town of Sierra Madre were urged to evacuate their homes as a forecast of rain increased threats of mountain flooding.

In Charlotte, C. W. Gilchrist, president of Charlotte Chemical Laboratories, was elected president this date of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce for a one-year term, succeeding John F. Watlington, Jr., senior vice-president of Wachovia Bank and Trust Co. Mr. Gilchrist had been active in Chamber activities for many years and was first vice-president of it in 1953. It lists the other officers who were elected and their outgoing counterparts.

Also in Charlotte, Federal District Court Judge Wilson Warlick this date delayed sentencing of Keith Beaty, previously found guilty of Federal tax evasion, until the following Monday and ordered that he be given a physical examination in the meantime, based on a jury recommendation for mercy in sentencing based on his health condition.

Also in Charlotte, News correspondent Lucien Agniel tells of having addressed four stamped letters to a colleague and then placed one on the sidewalk near Wachovia Bank, following the practice after reading that P. G. Wodehouse never mailed letters but simply threw them out the nearest window. When he dropped the first one, a young man told him that he had dropped the letter and returned it to him, at which point he dropped it again after thanking him, prompting the young man to say with a frozen smile, "Well, goodbye." He then tried to throw another of the letters out the window of the Liberty Life Building, but realized that the windows did not open, and so rode the elevator to the 10th floor of the Independence Trust Building and asked a secretary if he could toss a letter out their window, prompting her to move between him and the window, suggesting that he leave it with her and that she would throw it out for him, saying, soothingly, that he would have to let her know if it arrived all right. He said he would keep in touch. He wandered into a mob at the bus stop on the northeast corner of Independence Square and dropped the third letter, and left the final one at the entrance to the Liberty Life Building. He recounts that two of the four letters had arrived in the mail unopened, postmarked less than two hours after he had dropped them. A third was postmarked about 17 hours after he dropped it, but also arrived secure. He suggests that from the exercise, he concluded that people were honest and well-intentioned at least three-fourths of the time, regards the experiment as successful, would henceforth return to the practice of depositing letters in the mailbox.

In Hollywood, actor Sidney Greenstreet, 74, born in England, died.

On the editorial page, "The Administration—a Year Later" reminds that the newspaper had endorsed General Eisenhower before the 1952 election, while admiring the character of Governor Stevenson. It had stressed during the campaign three major issues, the unity of the free world and success in the struggle against Communism, the unity of the American people and faith in their leaders, and a change in stewardship of government, to provide the "catharsis of occasional defeat" for the majority party and a "sobering steam bath of authority" for the minority party. It proceeds to judge the accomplishments of the Administration after a year.

It finds that it was too soon to adjudge the impact of the Administration on free world unity and Communist aggression because the Administration had redirected foreign policy under Secretary of State Dulles and the effect of those policies was still undetermined. Mr. Dulles had used "shock treatment" on Europe, threatening withdrawal of U.S. aid and troops if the European Defense Community was not soon approved by France, and had recently pronounced the "retaliation" policy whereby if Russia or a satellite committed aggression, the U.S. might retaliate promptly against the homeland of the enemy. The conclusion of the Korean Armistice, the President's "atoms for peace" program and the expressed willingness to negotiate with the Soviets were all credits to Administration foreign policy. But official disinterest in NATO and the failure of the Administration to back its foreign service in the face of unwarranted attacks by members of Congress had raised some doubts about its foreign policy.

It finds that the Administration had evinced a maturity which merited the confidence of the American people and augured well for the growth of responsibility of the Republican Party, which recently had been flailing against "creeping socialism" or "sell-out" regarding nearly any action the incumbent Democrats had taken, but now endorsed some of the Truman Administration actions, giving them a degree of respectability and permanence which another Democratic administration could not have accomplished. Secretary Dulles the previous week, in a foreign policy address, had said "that many of the preceding foreign policies were good", and the President, in his State of the Union message on January 7, had stated that the Roosevelt-Truman Administration Social Security system was "basically sound—it should remain, as it has been, the cornerstone of the government's programs to promote the economic security of the individual." The piece indicates that by accepting and offering improvements to Democratic programs for social insurance, health, housing, public works and taxation, the Administration had provided little comfort to members of the party who wanted to turn back the clock.

The Administration had not hesitated to make politically unpopular decisions, the best example of which was the farm policy and its flexible supports proposal, in the face of strong opposition from millions of farm voters and many members of Congress from farming districts and states. The expedient thing would have been to continue the old farm program at least through the midterm elections. Likewise, it would have been expedient to continue the Truman Administration's "casual attitude toward enforcement of non-segregation in areas under Federal jurisdiction", but instead the Administration had chosen to carry out its non-segregation views vigorously. (We struggle to understand historically this statement in the context of actual cases thus far in the Eisenhower Administration, as opposed to mere rhetoric reported to be coming from the Oval Office, rhetoric which would not be borne out in action until fall, 1957, in the first year of the second term, in the desegregation of Little Rock's Central High School, and the deployment by the President of the National Guard to ensure that it would take place without violence and threats, prevalent in the early days of the attendance by a few black students at the school.)

It finds that the weak spot of the Administration had been in the field of civil liberties, that the President had given lip service to individual rights, while his Administration was also proposing further use of wiretap evidence, the potentially unconstitutional denaturalization of those conspiring to overthrow the government by force, and meaningless gestures such as the proposal to have management as well as labor leaders take loyalty oaths under a revised Taft-Hartley Act.

It finds that on the whole, the Administration was beginning to measure up to the high standards which the newspaper had set for it when it had endorsed General Eisenhower, that he was now acting like a President, supplying reason to expect great accomplishments in the second year of his Administration.

"County Schools Need More Funds" indicates that the circulation of petitions among county residents asking that the County Commissioners levy the full 20-cent special school supplement was long overdue. The voters inside the city had authorized the City Council to levy a maximum special tax of 50 cents per $100 of property valuation, and in the current year, the Council had levied 41.1 cents, giving Charlotte schools an extra 1.4 million dollars for teacher salaries, hiring of additional teachers and other extras beyond the State program.

But in the rural areas, residents were paying only 15 cents in special school tax, producing only $150,000 in additional funding for the schools for the year, despite the Commissioners having been authorized to levy up to 20 cents. The difference was why the City schools were considered superior to the County schools, and it urges residents of the county to insist that the Commissioners levy the full amount authorized, and that they should call for a new election at which they could authorize a larger amount if they wanted to improve the County schools even further.

"A Good Line, but Not Jefferson's" indicates that in an editorial the previous week it had sought reader input for a misascribed quote to Thomas Jefferson, "that government is best which governs least", used in a previous editorial initially attributing it to Mr. Jefferson, but subsequently finding, after a check with the Charlotte Public Library, that there was no evidence he had said it.

No one had responded and so the editors sent the matter to representative Charles Jonas and asked him to check with the Library of Congress, and following his check with the Librarian, he replied that the Library had the same impression, that Mr. Jefferson had made such a statement, but that upon checking, he found that while he had written all around the thought, the closest words he had ever uttered to the expression was, "I am for government rigorously frugal and simple," as contained in a letter to Elbridge Gerry, as found in the Ford edition of his collected writings, Volume VIII, page 327. Mr. Jonas went on to explain that according to the Library, the origin of the quotation was from a book by Elbert Hubbard, in which he told of a visit to Monticello, attributing the words to Mr. Jefferson, but there was no record of the latter having actually said or written them. He sent along a copy of Hubbard's Note Book, which had the statement on page 31.

It indicates that it was happy to clear up the point and advises that the next time one heard someone quote Mr. Jefferson as having made such a statement, they could interrupt and say: "That's a good line, bub, but it's not Jefferson's."

A piece from the Northern Goat, titled "Front Porch Experiment", indicates that the laziest man in the county was conducting an experiment by lolling in his favorite rocker on the front porch of his little cabin, turning his face to the west, rocking a little while, then turning toward the south and rocking some more, alternating positions as he went. His wife had asked him what the trouble was, to which he replied: "Jest trying to find out which is the easiest—rockin' east and west with the wind, or north and south with the grain in the flocks."

Drew Pearson comments on the President a year into his term, first indicating that a year earlier his economic theories had sounded as a National Association of Manufacturers pamphlet, but now he had swung back to the middle, still conservative but less so than a year earlier, no longer believing in a complete hands-off policy toward business or that states' rights was a panacea for everything. He no longer believed he could balance the budget or that government-spending was anathema, as he had a year earlier. He realized that government-spending could ward off a recession, but still was not in favor of big spending, though some of the economists around him believed that it took a lot of spending to halt a business slide once it started.

The President had also changed his mind about creeping socialism and the TVA, had already set aside 105 million dollars to start another such project on the St. Lawrence River when the seaway project passed Congress. While Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey and Budget Office director Joseph Dodge remained his close friends, he did not follow their advice as much as he had earlier in the Administration.

He had a new group of advisers, not so liberal as had been FDR's economic adviser, Harry Hopkins, but more progressive than the big-business golfing partners who had earlier advised him. Some called them "hucksters" rather than liberals, and it was true that they had in mind boosting the President's popularity rating. He lists several, among whom were Dr. Arthur Burns, liberal head of the Council of Economic Advisers, C. D. Jackson, former publisher of Fortune, who had counseled the President to make the atomic materials sharing speech before the U.N., Robert Cutler, Boston banker who had gotten into the White House through Justice Felix Frankfurter, and Charles Moore, former public relations adviser to Ford Motor Co.

Originally, the President believed that he could extend goodwill to members of Congress through White House luncheons, personal conversations, etc., and achieve thereby results. Now he was wiser and realized that only a strong and successful policy could keep Congress with him. He was, however, still a long way from understanding politics, susceptible to feelings of hurt whenever Congressional leaders on either side of the aisle vehemently disagreed with him.

In foreign policy, he had been more consistent than in domestic policy, but sometimes had been so cautious that his own advisers became impatient. It had taken time for him to agree to provide 15 million dollars in food relief to hungry East Germans the prior spring, a move which had been initiated by the State Department and was immediately successful. A clothes drive for East Germany had also been planned during the summer, but the President had misplaced the letter from West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer for three weeks and it never materialized. He had also hesitated for three months before making the U.N. speech on atomic pooling, and it had been rewritten 20 times.

The President had switched from the view of the China bloc, that the U.S. had to concentrate on the Far East, and was now concerned primarily with Europe, with his overall foreign policy remaining the same as that of the Truman Administration, not surprising as both the President and Secretary of State Dulles had been appointed by President Truman to carry that policy forward.

The President worked harder than he had earlier in the Administration, playing less golf and making more decisions himself, after having delegated almost everything during the early months, even bawling out his staff when they called him back from the golf course on the instruction of the National Security Council to make a major decision on Korea. He still lost his temper with his staff and still liked to delegate authority, but realized that his entire career was in the balance and was determined that the verdict of history would be favorable to him. In many respects, he did not like the Presidency, wished he had never been persuaded to run. Mr. Pearson observes that few people realized the loneliness of the White House, the inability to relax, and the impossibility of obtaining privacy. Though he did not like the job, the President was determined to do the best job he could but was also, indicates Mr. Pearson, determined not to run again in 1956.

Marquis Childs finds that old-line Republicans did not like the Eisenhower program. Republican committeemen across the country also wanted to know why more jobs were not being distributed to faithful party members. Their discontent was echoed by members of Congress and party leaders in Washington who had to deal with their discontent during the midterm election year. The pressure was particularly heavy on the State Department, with Old Guard Senators grousing at Secretary Dulles for not going far enough in reversing the previous Democratic foreign policy, which, they believed, was the result of New Dealers still making policy.

Mr. Childs recounts an interview with a nameless Senator of the Old Guard, making such a case, claiming that just 27 out of 5,000 policymakers in the department had been removed.

But Secretary Dulles was well aware of the need for continuity in foreign affairs, that a nation could not suddenly reverse the policies extant for years by the fact of mere change of administrations, that technical and specialty skills were required in diplomacy in certain areas of the world. Substituting party workers in diplomacy could produce bad results. Before the career foreign service had been established, most diplomatic posts had been awarded as patronage, winding up going, in many instances, to party hacks.

A recent magazine article by a nameless employee of the Marshall Plan administration in Denmark had asserted that he had ridden for years the Government "gravy train", with many privileges and perquisites which were unnecessary and undeserved. Mr. Childs indicates that while there were such persons, there were thousands of hard-working civil servants working long hours abroad under difficult circumstances. A letter of protest to the same magazine from six former members of the Marshall Plan administration told of how they had never worked so hard as they had in Europe. That led to the question of whether some patronage seekers merely wanted also to ride the gravy train or had genuine interest in service. "The career civil servant has taken a terrible beating of late. A little more of it and he may become a vanishing species."

Robert C. Ruark finds calorie-conscious diets silly, indicates that he ate what he wanted, regardless of whether it made him fatter, thinner or prettier. He had recently read an advertisement for a rum which claimed to have few calories, comments that he had never met anyone who was a drinker and cared whether they were fat or skinny, as long as the alcohol drowned unpleasant concerns. "If he had his choice, he would give up lamb chops, sliced pineapple, and eggs, and waste happily away to nothing on a diet of pure booze." He had seen in liquor advertising, especially in beer ads, that particular brands were supposedly nourishing, non-fattening, "character-molding, family solidifying, and a boon to the American spirit." He consequently felt guilty if he did not drink at least a case while watching a ball game.

He believed that a lot of the flus and viruses which were prevalent attacked those made frail by a constant experimentation with man's normal desire to eat what he wanted when he was hungry. He suggests that so much had been made of low calories, proteins and starches, fats and carbohydrates, that when one contemplated consuming a piece of pie, a call needed to be made to a psychiatrist. For years he had avoided desserts, but now ate them again and felt just fine.

He concludes that one day he might grow a watermelon as a belly and an extra chin, but as he was not trying out for movie roles or competing in track meets, he found that he slept well after lunch when he was thinking. He says that the dinner gong had just sounded, that canned calories would not be on the table, but rather just plain grub.

A letter writer from Great Falls, S.C., responds to a letter printed the prior Saturday, suggesting punishment for the witness who appeared against Police Chief Frank Littlejohn at the preliminary hearing on charges of allowing illegal betting to take place in the city by receipt of bribes, the Chief cleared by the court, which dismissed the charges. This writer thinks that if punishment could be imposed on witnesses for perjury, then it should be applicable to both sides, as the judge did not vindicate the Chief based on positive proof of his innocence, but found insufficient evidence of his guilt, in spite of the findings by the December grand jury, which had issued four presentments against him. He concludes that the whole case had been poorly prepared.

A letter writer decries the stress in the public schools on such things as making pottery and jewelry, field trips and sports, activities which he believes ought be extracurricular, but having supplanted emphasis on academic subjects, which he asserts as vital to continuing the national interests. He finds that $10,000 had been expended by the local schools for a pottery kiln and that basic courses in how to read were being taught at UNC and Charlotte's Queen College. He urges a return to a basic academic curriculum.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its cooperation during the recently completed television series "What Matters Most", sponsored by the Charlotte Junior League and WBTV.

A letter from J. R. Dean asserts that if a young person who was 18 was old enough to fight or die for his or her country, they were old enough to vote.

But what if they are dog soldiers? Should dogs vote?

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.