The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 21, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Paris, the three Western powers and West Germany this date reached complete agreement on steps to end the Allied Big Three occupation and restore virtually all sovereignty to West Germany. A detailed agreement would replace the two-year old treaty of Bonn, which had never completely been ratified. The documents, to be signed on Saturday, set forth the conditions under which West Germany would recover its sovereignty after almost a decade of occupation since the war. The action cleared the way for West Germany to be included in NATO as the 15th member and to be a part of the seven-nation West European Union, a revised version of the five-nation Brussels Pact, which had not included Italy or West Germany, now to be included. The latter was designed as the framework for West German rearmament within NATO. Treaties embodying those steps were also to be signed on Saturday, pending successful conclusion of additional talks. The Big Three retained certain conditions on West German sovereignty to enable negotiation with the Soviets regarding German reunification and also retained the right to resume the occupation in the event of an emergency or to cope with the special situation of Berlin.

Samuel Lubell, in another article of his series on the midterm elections, indicates that of the many issues affecting the voting, none was more difficult to appraise than the impact of Senator McCarthy. Through most of the Midwest, he had found general weariness and disgust with the entire McCarthy-Army dispute, with the cost of the hearings the prior spring and how bad they had made the country look before the world being the primary concerns. None of the participants in the hearings appeared to have gained popular esteem, and Senator McCarthy had been unquestionably weakened. A leading Republican in western Wisconsin had told Mr. Lubell that he was ashamed of Senator McCarthy, that he had voted for him in 1952 for re-election, but that when he would come up again, he would leave the space blank. Many persons suggested that the Senator had the right idea in wanting to kick the Communists out of the country, but did not know where to stop. He found that any prospect that the Senator might have been acquiring sufficient popular support to be considered for the presidency to have been dashed, that even among his supporters, he was considered to have gone overboard too easily. He also found, however, that McCarthyism was far from dead as an issue, despite some observers believing that to be the case. Particularly in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, the issue of Senator McCarthy's methods and objectives still provoked bitter and furious comment.

In New York, the President told state Republican campaign workers this date, prior to taking a whirlwind tour of New York City, that it was tremendously important that Senator Irving Ives be elected in the gubernatorial race, with newsmen traveling with the President saying that it was the most outright endorsement he had given any individual candidate during the midterm campaign. Newspaper polls indicated that Senator Ives was trailing Averell Harriman, his Democratic opponent.

In Raleigh, the Council of State had allocated $100,000 in State funds for communities impacted by Hurricane Hazel of the previous Friday, and Governor William B. Umstead had sought, in a telegram to the President, an additional $550,000 in Federal aid, which he said would be necessary for temporary restoration of basic public services in the coastal areas.

The State Highway Patrol indicated that property owners could enter the beach areas wrecked by the hurricane to remove their valuables, but warned that sightseers who might visit the area during the weekend would only hinder the clean-up work, and that officers would check for proper identification of those seeking to enter the beaches, to show that they were property owners in the area or had reason to be there. Looting remained a problem and all vehicles entering and leaving the area were checked. With the exception of one bridge area on U.S. 70 east of Beaufort, all major roads into the coastal area were now open, while many highways in the beach areas themselves were either destroyed or severely damaged.

Near Greenville, N.C., an electrical lineman, helping to clear hurricane damage from lines of the Greenville municipal power system, was electrocuted this date on a power pole a few miles south of the town.

Julian Scheer of The News reports from the coast, describing "The Grand Strand", from Cherry Grove to Myrtle Beach, as being "wrapped in a cloak of ominous silence", with only the sound of the surf, the wind, and carpenter's hammers intruding on the quietude. He observed only devastation and depression. At Myrtle Beach, two rows of waterfront homes were gone, with only scattered remains and frames of several which were left behind. A postal inspector was looking through the rubble for an 800-pound safe, with a concrete slab being the only remains of what had been the post office. A casino's slot machine rested in the sand, as did bowling balls. A native said that 98 percent of the property was a total loss.

Additional photographs on the front page show more of the damage along the coast caused by the hurricane.

Near Edgefield, S.C., a school bus ran into a pickup truck and careened down a 25-foot embankment, injuring at least 14 pupils and a woman who had been driving the truck, with at least three of the injured in critical condition. The sheriff said that the 17-year old driver of the bus had lost control after the woman driving the truck, having overtaken the bus to try to enable her daughter to board, had then stopped too quickly ahead of it, causing the bus to crash into the rear of the vehicle and then plunge down the embankment.

On the editorial page, "Red, Anti-Red, Anti-Anti-Red" indicates that Harvey Matusow, who had become a professional informer for Congress, subsequently admitting that he had only been a professional liar to tell them what they wanted to hear, was back in the news.

He had joined the Communist Party after World War II and had received a salary from the party and from Communist bookshop groups, until he began furnishing information to the FBI about the Communists and those whom he believed were Communists. He was eventually booted from the party, then becoming a professional anti-Communist, working as an investigator for the Ohio Un-American Activities Commission and writing exposes such as "Reds in Khaki", which had appeared in the American Legion Magazine. He had appeared in several states during the 1952 campaign on behalf of conservative Senate candidates, and every time he spoke of Communism, his stories had grown. He had seen Communists among high school teachers, including 500 just in New York City, and had told one audience that "you must be a member of the Communist Party" to write for radio in New York City. He believed the press was rife with Communists, saying that 76 Communists worked for Time, that 25 were in one Associated Press bureau, and that a large number worked for the New York Times Magazine, claiming 39 more than the total number of employees in that department.

Eventually, the Congressional committees which had utilized him had grown wary of his testimony and distanced themselves from him. At that point, he became a professional anti-anti-Communist, going to the office of a Democratic Senator he had maligned during the 1952 campaign and stated a change of heart, offering to tour the Senator's state again, taking back what he had previously said. The offer was accepted. He had gone to Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, whom he had also maligned, and sought forgiveness plus $1,500 to help publish his book, The World of McCarthy: Blacklisting Is My Business. During the current week, Bishop Oxnam said that he had been astounded that Attorney General Herbert Brownell would rely on the testimony of a person like Mr. Matusow in any legal proceeding. But thus far, the Justice Department had taken no official action against him for perjury.

It concludes that perhaps the "Justice (a hollow phrase) Department lawyers are still too busy trying to hang a nebulous perjury count on Owen Lattimore."

"Corn as High as an Elephant's Eye" indicates that the overwhelming approval which North Carolina farmers had given the state's "Nickels for Know-How" program reflected the progressive spirit of the state's agriculture. Approximately 94 percent of the farmers who voted, users of feed and fertilizer, wanted the program to continue for an additional three years. Under the program, a nickel was assessed on each ton of feed and fertilizer used in the state, with the money going to finance agricultural research. Through the prior June, the program had raised $391,000, which was financing 38 research and educational projects at N.C. State.

Man's rise from savagery to civilization, it suggests, was really the story of the struggle to wrest food from the soil, having encountered staggering obstacles in the process through history, many of which were still extant, such as crop disease and inimical insects, drought, floods, weeds and overuse of the soil from lack of crop rotation.

It informs that the 2.5 billion acres of arable land which was producing the world's food supply represented only two percent of the earth's surface, with the remainder covered by water, mountains, desert, jungles, ice and snow or rocky soil. That small amount of land had to serve a growing world population which had reached about 2.4 billion, increasing at the rate of about 18 million per year. World population had increased by 25 percent in the previous 20 years, while world food production had increased only by five percent, meaning that to survive, there had to be growth of bigger and better crops on the land presently being farmed.

Within the U.S., the population had grown by 18 percent during the previous two decades, while food production had increased by 50 percent. That dramatic increase had occurred from technological progress, with chemists supplying to the farmers the equivalent of armies of field hands at a very small cost. That was the type of progress being delivered by the nickels from the farmers of North Carolina.

"—And the Frost Is on the Pigskin" indicates that Charlotte might decide within the ensuing ten days whether it wanted to become a major sports center in the Carolinas or a minor whistle-stop on the collegiate athletic circuit. Two major football attractions had been booked for Memorial Stadium, the Davidson versus Furman game the following night and the Wake Forest versus Clemson game on Saturday, October 30. The turnout for the contests would determine whether Charlotte would be the venue for other such college games in the near future. The city had not greatly patronized college football games played there recently, with games which should have drawn overflow crowds having fallen far short of expectations.

It says that it would hate to see Charlotte lose the few major college games which it now had each season, would like to see additional teams return to Charlotte, such as Duke and North Carolina, urges that the city had the population and facilities for an outstanding outdoor sports program. It indicates that it already supported a professional minor league baseball team even when it was losing, and ought to support also college football, doing itself a favor.

A piece from the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, titled "How Does It Taste?" tells of a High Point woman who had emptied a pint of white whiskey into a pot of black-eyed peas when she saw police coming, and in the process may have inadvertently invented a new dish. The police had not revealed its taste when they brought it to court as evidence.

It reminded the writer of the recipe for stone stew, which consisted of placing a stone in a large pan, adding two quarts of whiskey, stirring and serving. One could not get much flavor out of the stone, but, it reports, the gravy was magnificent.

Drew Pearson indicates that Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay had recently issued a diatribe against Mr. Pearson for describing him as generous for selling part of the Rogue River National Forest to private mining interests and for considering the release of the Navy's and Interior Department's oil reserves in Alaska to private oil company exploitation. Mr. Pearson says that it was the first time he had been called a liar by a member of the Eisenhower Cabinet, an honor frequently bestowed on him during the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. He had enjoyed the respite from being called names during the Eisenhower Administration and did not relish being called names by such a nice person as Mr. McKay. He supposes, however, that it was inevitable, as any newspaperman worth anything in Washington necessarily had to step on other people's toes, and when he did, the object of the criticism naturally became mad and responded with epithets.

Clinton McKinnon, publisher of the Los Angeles News, had asked Mr. Pearson recently what the score was on the name-calling business, and he proceeds to provide a list of politicians who had called him a liar or sued him, including Congressman Ernest Bramblett of California, former California Attorney General Fred Howser, former Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, Senator McCarthy, former Congressman Parnell Thomas, against whom Mr. Pearson had revealed a staff salary kickback scheme which sent him to jail for defrauding the Government, Truman Administration influence peddler John Maragon, officials of the Tanforan racetrack in San Bruno, California, and former President Truman, who had also called him a son of a bitch after Mr. Pearson had criticized the receipt by the President's military aide, General Harry Vaughan, of a medal from Argentine dictator Juan Peron, noting that later, Congress had refused to approve the medal and a Senate committee had found that General Vaughan had engaged in significant influence peddling.

Mr. Pearson says that he was not always right and made mistakes but endeavored to correct them when he did make one, wishes to correct an unfair impression he had given recently regarding Congresswoman Leonor Sullivan of Missouri when he reported that she had inserted 13 pages in the post-adjournment Congressional Record at some cost to taxpayers, indicating that while she had made an insertion, he had discovered that it consisted of the full text of the Federal Trade Commission's report on coffee prices, which he deems to be something which the average housewife should have an opportunity to read, and that the insertion into the record had made distribution of the report easier, a fact which he was delighted to make clear.

Joseph Alsop indicates that Senator McCarthy had ceased to be a leading actor in the national drama and that it might be just as well to leave him alone, rather than go through the censure debate and vote in the Senate in the coming special session. Inquiries made in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin appeared to voice that preference. Mr. Alsop suggests that one of the real achievements of the Eisenhower Administration apparently was the curing of the national neurosis produced for so long by Senator McCarthy's demagoguery, along with the Truman Administration's maladroitness and foolish wartime misjudgments regarding the character of the Communist Party.

He suggests that there might be much which was abhorrent and un-American in the methods of the Government hunt for security risks, but at least the country had stopped looking for Communists under the bed. People had become aware that an Army dentist, no matter how pinko he might be, was considerably less dangerous than the armed might of the Soviet Union, an attitude for which the President had hoped, and which he seemed to have achieved.

In addition to the President's efforts, two other processes had been working to reduce Senator McCarthy's impact. Many rich and influential Republicans had previously regarded the Senator in much the same way that the vestry of Trinity Church 75 years earlier had regarded its vast real estate holdings, not very nice but highly profitable. But the ideas of those people had been abruptly changed by the disclosure of Senator McCarthy's enmity toward the President. Even more important, the events of the previous six months had taught rich and poor alike what kind of man Senator McCarthy really was. Following the Army-McCarthy hearings of the previous late April through mid-June, the six-Senator select committee, which reviewed the censure resolution and made an unanimous recommendation of censure to the full Senate, had finished the job. One farmer in Wisconsin had said that a person could not see the pictures of the six Senators in the newspaper and believe that secretly they were soft on Communism, that they commanded people's attention. He said that in that area, a great majority of the people had been for Senator McCarthy, but now were sick and tired of him, and that the minority who continued to side with him were becoming ashamed of it.

Mr. Alsop finds proof of the winnowing power of the Senator in the fact that not a single politician in Illinois, Wisconsin or Minnesota was seeking to have Senator McCarthy come in and campaign for him. To the contrary, the Republican Senate candidate in Illinois, Joe Meek, who had run in the primary as an overt McCarthyite, was now hesitant to bring him up. Representative Charles Kersten of Wisconsin, considered to be a junior McCarthy, was upset that his opponent was trying to make Senator McCarthy a major issue. That district in Milwaukee was the only district in all three Midwestern states where the Senator was an issue. All of the other Democratic candidates had preferred to avoid offending the remaining McCarthyite minority, just as all Republican candidates had wanted to avoid offending the anti-McCarthy majority.

Marquis Childs indicates that Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, former president of General Motors, was the outstanding example of the skilled business organizer and production expert within the Administration, and yet had demonstrated by the political firestorm which he had set off with his dog comments relative to unemployment the previous week that he was also the outstanding example of the businessman out of his element in politics.

Many familiar with the operations of the Defense Department believed that Mr. Wilson had done an effective job, having reduced spending in a way needed to foster greater efficiency and economy in the military organization, responsible for two-thirds of the Federal budget. He had sought to maintain a civilian rein on the admirals and generals, and particularly on those officers with four and five stars, who had favored a more militant policy in Asia, with Mr. Wilson on the side of maintaining peace.

As a corporate executive, he had been surrounded by expert public relations advisers who had been paid to screen his public words, leaving him free to do the job of production and organization, where his genius lay. But when Mr. Wilson was on his own before the public, he was likely to speak his mind with startling candor, not understanding the political implications of what he was saying and how he said it.

Such businessmen as Eric Johnston, formerly the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and presently president of the American Motion Picture Producers Association, had been an excellent example of a businessman who adjusted readily to government. Government was a continuing responsibility rather than something which could be tidied up and left to run itself, and politics was a serious, unending responsibility which, if neglected, fell into the hands of the bosses and instigators of corruption. To ignore those responsibilities or delegate them indifferently, ventures Mr. Childs, was to get the kind of government and politics which were most costly and destructive of integrity and decency.

Doris Fleeson, in Boston, indicates that the midterm elections were about the American pocketbook, as the emotional issues which had swept General Eisenhower into office two years earlier had receded far into the background. The traveler found the story much the same in New England, as in the mountains states, the Northwest, California and the Midwest. Korea was far in the back of the minds now of most Americans, as was Indo-China. Senator McCarthy was also a dead duck and by tacit consent, candidates did not mention him. While his admirers were still active in some places, as in New Jersey, those whom they attacked were probably being benefited.

When the latter conflict would re-emerge, it would take the form of an effort by the Republican right-wing to control the national committee and the national convention of 1956. It was even hard for a correspondent in Washington to find traces of the major supporter of the Senator the previous spring during the Army-McCarthy hearings, Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, chairman of the Republican Senate campaign committee, and therefore probably very busy. But he was staying out of the limelight where his pro-McCarthy activities could be used to hurt the candidates he was supporting. Ms. Fleeson suggests that the candidates probably had planned it that way.

Democrats had conceded that the "mess in Washington" and the charge of softness on Communism had hurt them in 1952, but were not afraid of those problems now. A Democratic effort to make foreign policy an issue had not worked thus far. The campaign was lethargic in large part because the emotional, highly personal, issues had been superseded by economic issues, and there was no doubt that the Democratic trend was resulting from the economic picture in the country.

A letter writer suggests that so many people became criminals because when a person made a mistake, they were rendered an outcast by society. He indicates that he had made a mistake not half so bad as some men had, and had sought to make amends, but that when he went to "those people", they tried to give the impression that he was a born criminal. He says he had been placed in a position where he could not support his wife, baby, mother or himself. He had been offered two or three jobs but could not accept them.

A letter writer indicates that the newspaper had again dropped "Pogo" from the Saturday color comics page, finds it unfair to fans of the strip, suggests that it pick on some other strip if it occasionally needed room for an advertisement.

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