The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 9, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that rumors persisted this date that friends of Senator McCarthy might seek to filibuster the Senate resolution proposing his censure, on which formal debate would begin the following day. The Senator said he was unaware of any such strategy, as did several of his supporters. Two influential Democratic Senators, who had asked to remain anonymous, said they had been informed that an attempt would be made to prolong the debate until midnight on December 24, at which time the extraordinary session convened the previous day for the purpose of the censure debate, would automatically expire. If no vote were to take place by that point, the censure resolution also would expire at the end of the 83rd Congress. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland said that he remained hopeful that a vote would occur during November. Senator Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic Leader, said that he regarded the case as primarily a Republican problem, and that he had not been consulted regarding any strategy. The previous night, in a radio broadcast, Senator McCarthy had said that while he believed there were plenty of votes against him on the resolution, he did not believe that a censure would affect his chances for re-election in 1958. He said that he expected most of the votes against him to be from Democrats and the "so-called liberal—and I put that in quotes—Republicans." He also believed that he might attract a few votes from Democrats. He complained of the "jungle warfare which some elements in the Republican Party" had waged against him because of his fight against Communism.

In Alexandria, Va., the Government said this date that information relating to 1951 operations in North Korea had been involved in the secret material which former Government code expert Joseph Petersen, Jr., had been charged with misusing. He had been dismissed as a research analyst for the National Security Agency and indicted by a Federal grand jury on October 20, charging that he had obtained defense secrets with "intent or reason to believe" that they would be used to injure the U.S. and aid another country. Both the U.S. and the Netherlands had stated that Mr. Petersen had supplied certain information to a Dutch Embassy official in Washington, and the Dutch had said there was an exchange of information which they believed was in continuation of a World War II arrangement. Mr. Petersen's attorneys had demanded a bill of particulars from the Government, supplied this date.

Secretary of State Dulles said this date that it would be contrary to the national interest to make public the full record on the case of dismissed career diplomat John Paton Davies, that it would entail revealing secrets and that publishing part of the record would be unfair from several viewpoints. Mr. Davies had asked for disclosure of the record, and Mr. Dulles said he had not made a final decision on that question. He stated, in response to a press question, that it was out of the question for a preventive war to be waged as a matter of policy against Russia, that the President had made that clear, referencing a prior policy paper presented by Mr. Davies, recommending that course of action in 1952 to preempt Russia's drive to match and exceed the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The case is dealt with on the editorial page this date by the Alsops, as well as by an editorial in the News column.

The Joint Chiefs, according to Secretary Dulles this date, were considering providing fighter escorts to U.S. aircraft flying close to Soviet territory, in the wake of the incident the previous day of the shooting down by two Russian planes of an American RB-29 photo reconnaissance plane while on a photo mission over Hokkaido in Japan. The Secretary confirmed that the pilot of the downed aircraft had authority to return fire once fired on, but chose not to do so. Ambassador to Russia Charles Bohlen had attended a party given by the Soviets in Moscow on Sunday, after learning of the incident, provoking criticism by Senator Knowland and Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, but the Secretary said it was a quick decision, like that of the pilot of the plane, without full knowledge of the facts, made shortly after news of the incident had reached the Ambassador.

In Tokyo, General John Hull again denounced the shooting down of the aircraft, with one the 11-member crew having died by drowning after bailing out and the other ten rescued. General Hull said, "A more flagrant incident would hardly be possible," adamantly denying, as the previous day, that the plane could have possibly been over Soviet territory, given the angle of descent. The captain of the crew said that they were never closer than 15 miles from Soviet territory in the Kurile Islands.

Public power advocates would testify this date before the joint Atomic Energy Committee regarding the controversial Dixon-Yates contract with the Atomic Energy Commission to supply power over TVA lines to West Memphis, Ark., opposed as being seen as an entering wedge toward destruction of TVA and other public power projects, as well as for the contract having been approved without competitive bidding. Among those to testify was Democratic Governor Frank Clement of Tennessee, who had been an outspoken critic of the contract. The previous day, the Governor's lawyer, who also represented the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, had said that a substantial doubt existed as to whether the joint Committee had the power to waive the 30-day period during which the AEC was supposed to study the contract before it could take effect, despite the AEC having asked the Committee to do so. The lawyer also raised other technical legal objections.

In Boca Raton, Fla., the annual Southern Governors Conference would open on Thursday, with a principal topic being public school desegregation under Brown v. Board of Education, and the upcoming implementing decision, with oral arguments in that case set for December 6. While there was no mention on the official conference program of the issue of segregation, there was little doubt that the subject would be one of the most lively topics to be considered, either on the floor or otherwise. Three states, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina, were seeking to keep black students from attending white schools, with Georgia having adopted a State constitutional amendment on November 2 to permit the Legislature to abolish the public school system rather than end segregation. Louisiana had approved an amendment permitting the State to invoke police powers to maintain segregation in the public schools, and South Carolina's Legislature had granted authority to abolish the public school system. Mississippi would also vote on December 21 on a proposal to empower the Legislature to abolish the public school system. Other Southern states had indicated that they believed the problem could be worked out, provided the Supreme Court would allow sufficient time for implementation. The Florida attorney general had filed a brief in the implementing case, requesting time and latitude for local determination of when segregation would be ended in the schools, that in cases where suits were brought by black parents to have their children admitted to segregated schools, the trial courts ought be given wide discretion to hold hearings and determine whether the petitions would be granted.

The President, the previous day, appointed U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John Harlan II to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Robert Jackson, who had died the prior month. Though the appointment was a surprise to Senators, his confirmation was expected to occur quickly. He had been appointed to the Court of Appeals the prior March, his only prior judicial experience. Justice Harlan was the grandson of Justice John Harlan, who had registered the lone dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 case holding that separate but equal facilities enabled segregation to pass muster under the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, overruled by Brown, holding that segregation in public schools per se violated the Equal Protection Clause.

Senators, however, suggested that there might be objection raised, based on the Dixon-Yates controversy, to confirmation of AEC commissioner Joseph Campbell to become Comptroller-General, an appointment also made by the President the previous day.

In Baltimore, the partially clothed body of a young woman was found during the morning on the Pennsylvania railroad tracks in the northern part of the city, and a police lieutenant said that she may have been murdered. She had an extensive wound on the back of her head and other wounds on her back, with the name "Paul" written with lipstick or mercurochrome on her right thigh. Investigators believed she may have been beaten to death in a nearby wooded area, which was a lovers' lane, and then thrown from a bridge onto the railroad tracks. Her identity had not yet been established, and it had not yet been determined by autopsy whether she had been raped or the precise cause of death.

In North Charleston, S.C., two small children, ages two and four, died in an automobile fire in a department store parking lot the previous day while shoppers passed within 50 feet, the two children having been left with a sibling, also two, by their mother while she had gone shopping. A passerby broke open a rear window of the car and dragged one of two twins to safety, but could not save the other two. Firemen speculated that the children might have been playing with matches and set the upholstery on fire.

In Hamilton, Bermuda, it was reported that a 50-foot ketch, which had been caught in an Atlantic storm which shredded its sails a few days out of New York, had made Port St. Georges with its three-man crew this date. The cruise of 670 nautical miles from New York, which the owner of the ship had hoped would take five days, had taken two weeks. After losing contact with the vessel, the Coast Guard had conducted a search and disclosed on Sunday that it was 45 miles northeast of Bermuda, bucking a headwind and choppy seas, at which time the Coast Guard talked to the owner aboard and he reported that everything was swell in the swollen swells.

In Durham, N.C., funeral services were held at a quiet cemetery of a country church for Governor William B. Umstead, who had died on Sunday of congestive heart failure, after having suffered a heart ailment since having a heart attack two days after his inauguration in January, 1953. Prior to the graveside ceremony, he had a simple funeral service in a large Methodist Church in Durham. The services were attended by the new Governor, Luther Hodges, members of the state's Congressional delegation, and Governor Thomas Stanley of Virginia. The Governor had been a deeply religious man, and several hymns had been sung and passages read from the Bible.

On the editorial page, "Tall Tasks Ahead for Luther Hodges" indicates that Lt. Governor Hodges, who would be sworn in the following day as the new Governor, would encounter the forces which would shape his record when the General Assembly convened in January for its biennial meeting. Those forces would include the problems associated with implementation of Brown v. Board of Education and the state's financial plight, consisting of increasing needs and decreasing means.

Few governors had faced sterner tests of statesmanship, political ingenuity and administrative skill, it posits, and few had been thrust into office with so little experience in practical politics. But Governor Hodges was no ordinary man and would not wilt before the tasks ahead, having compiled a successful career of achievement in many fields, leading it to conclude that he would lead the state wisely and well during the years ahead.

He had been chairman of the State Board of Education since taking office in January, 1953 as Lieutenant Governor and had learned in that capacity of some of the principal problems the state faced in desegregation of public schools, having reviewed with top leaders of North Carolina's educational system the issues long before the Brown decision of the prior May 17. Having also been in that time the presiding officer of the State Senate, he had acquired a working knowledge of the state's financial requirements, and could see the start of a budget crisis during the 1953 session of the Assembly.

Although a conservative in political philosophy, he had already instituted important innovations to improve the efficiency of the state's governmental machinery, for instance, reducing the number of committees in the Senate from 36 to 28, streamlining legislative process and saving money, also accelerating Senate procedure and expediting debate.

He looked at governmental functions as an industrialist viewed production schedules and sales charts, as he had been a part of the Marshall Field textile empire for 30 years, rising from the position of office boy to become vice-president of the company. He had also been a price executive of the textile division of OPA, overseeing price controls during World War II, and later was chief of the industrial division of the Marshall Plan administration in Germany.

It indicates that he would now need to combine his natural executive ability with his political skills to perform the tasks ahead, and it expresses confidence that he would do so.

As stated, Governor Hodges would be elected to his own term in 1956 and serve, under the single-term limits then in effect in the state, until 1961, when he would be appointed by President Kennedy as Secretary of Commerce. His successor as Governor, Terry Sanford, had served in 1954 as campaign manager for Senator-elect and former Governor Kerr Scott.

"The Davies Case: Shades of 1984" indicates that during World War II, John Paton Davies had sharply criticized the Nationalist Chinese regime of Chiang Kai-shek as corrupt and weak, suggesting that a Nationalist-Communist coalition would be the only way to keep China from falling to Communist control.

In 1949, Mr. Davies, at that time a member of the State Department policy planning staff, had presented a tentative propaganda proposal in which he suggested, among other things, use in China of a six-person special writing cell, two of whom were believed to be Communists and the others considered leftists.

Principally because of those two recommendations, Mr. Davies had been sharply criticized, particularly by Senator McCarthy, who had challenged the loyalty of Mr. Davies. His case was reviewed nine times by loyalty boards and approved each prior time, until the previous week, when the ninth loyalty board unanimously determined that he had held imprudent ideas during the course of his 23 years of diplomatic service and therefore should be dismissed, a decision upheld by Secretary of State Dulles, though there had been no finding of his having been disloyal.

It posits the case as an illustration of the "fall guy" principle of diplomacy, proceeding from the premise that something was wrong in the world and that surely treason, stupidity or incompetence of American diplomats was the cause, thus needing a scapegoat, seeking out someone who had earlier made an ill-advised or unpopular proposal, then firing the person.

The record showed that many honest persons of undisputed loyalty had suggested exactly that which Mr. Davis had regarding a coalition between the Nationalists and Communists in China—including, it might have noted, former Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense Marshall, immediately after his year as special envoy to China for President Truman in 1946. The proposal of Mr. Davies to establish the propaganda cell, code-named "Tawny Pipit", might have seemed far-fetched to those unacquainted with psychological warfare and counter-intelligence, but had not been so regarded by General Walter Bedell Smith, former CIA director and presently Undersecretary of State, who had considered the proposal feasible, as the writers could have been utilized to gather detailed information about a certain section of the Chinese coast, that the Communists in the group likely would have passed such information to Russia and Communist China, inducing hectic redeployment of Communist Chinese troops, and resulting in acquisition of useful information regarding the organization and strategy of the Communist Chinese Government. It would also have allowed security officials to keep one or more of the six writers under close surveillance.

It finds that a conclusion to be drawn from the matter of Mr. Davies was that the prospect for acquiring good intelligence was virtually nonexistent as long as persons with ideas in the Government were considered suspect for merely proposing a plan like Tawny Pipit, and also that Secretary of State Dulles appeared to have lost the gumption he had once shown regarding support of his employees. In addition, the firing of someone of acknowledged loyalty and ability would speed transformation of the Foreign Service from a first-rate career organization into a haven for the "timorous ninny who issues the double-think dispatch and makes no blunders simply because he does nothing."

"Postscript" indicates that in the closing days of the 83rd Congress, the Communist Party had been outlawed by a hurriedly written bill, passed over the objection of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and other professionals whose anti-Communist efforts would be hampered by legislation which drove the Communist Party further underground. But the politicians had wanted to send a message to their constituents as to how they were fighting Communism in the country, were fearful that a vote against the bill would hurt them in the coming elections. The only two opponents to the bill had been Congressmen Usher Burdick of North Dakota and Abraham Multer of New York, the former of whom had defeated his Democratic opponent, while the latter had defeated his Republican opponent, receiving nearly four times as many votes as had his two opponents.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Ol' Rockin' Chair Gotcha?" indicates that a song from some years earlier, which had suggested that the old rocking chair would get you if you did not watch out, might have been right after all. A visiting Welsh physician, Dr. Percy Stocks, in an address before the International Congress of Clinical Pathology in Washington, had suggested as much, warning that people who took things too easy and did not exercise were as prone as their over-vigorous opposites to fatal heart attacks, with no exercise leading to poor circulation and a potential coronary.

It indicates that it was not necessarily endorsing what the doctor had said, as it was aware of old codgers who could get plenty of exercise from a rocking chair. It also wonders where it left the aging athlete, whether the person should go out and play a round of golf and risk over-exertion, while refraining from playing more than two or three holes, then risking under-exertion, finds that there had to be a happy medium but that the doctor had not indicated what the correct amount of exercise was.

"And now, boy, if you'll pull that chair over a little closer so we can post a bit without tilting off the porch."

Drew Pearson indicates that millions of television viewers had observed what had transpired in Republican and Democratic headquarters on election night, insofar as formal statements and outside congratulations, but few had seen the suspense, headaches and heartaches, inside both party headquarters as the returns had been tabulated. He provides various inside tidbits from each party headquarters.

Among the more interesting observations was that an NBC commentator had reported that Republican incumbent Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts had taken the lead from his opponent, former Congressman Foster Furcolo, by 4:00 a.m., and former Senate secretary Leslie Biffle, now a Democratic consultant, had indicated that they should get Mrs. Furcolo at the State House, who said there was still a chance that her husband might win if the Republicans did not steal the election. (As Mr. Pearson had reported in the closing days leading up to the election, Senator John F. Kennedy had refused to endorse Mr. Furcolo, though Mr. Pearson did not provide the reason for the cold shoulder. Apparently, no one much remembered.)

Also of interest is his report that at 6:00 a.m., a meeting of Democratic advisers at headquarters had adjourned with the consensus being that if "Vice-President 'McNixon' had not pulled his Reichstag fire tactics, the Democrats would have done far better," and that if those tactics continued, there was something to worry about regarding U.S. politics.

He concludes that the President's greatest problem during the ensuing two years would be bitterness within the Democratic Party at the "McNixon tactics"—or the Big Mac, as it were. Democrats, such as Speaker Sam Rayburn, who had been in Congress for nearly half a century, were angry over being labeled traitors and warmongers who had plunged the country into war to achieve prosperity. Mr. Rayburn had made a statement saying he would cooperate with the President on foreign policy and national defense, and he meant it, but privately, not only Mr. Rayburn but other Democratic leaders would play things their own way on domestic policy, unless Vice-President "McNixon" drastically revised his tactics.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the decision of the State Department to terminate from the diplomatic service John Paton Davies as a "security risk", though having specifically found that he was not disloyal. He had been the only U.S. official who had ever formally advocated preventive war with the Soviet Union, occurring in 1950 in a policy paper he had drafted as part of the State Department's policy planning staff. In the paper, he had said that the U.S. position would become intolerably dangerous after the Soviets had accumulated a decisive stock of nuclear weapons, and that such a position should not be allowed to occur, that "preventive action", if necessary, should be taken to avert it. That was at a time when the U.S. still maintained a decisive atomic advantage over the Soviets.

They point out that most people believed that a "security risk" was a person who was "soft" on Communism, obviously not the case with Mr. Davies. They suggest that someday, it might be possible to laugh at such nonsense. His views had developed quite a bit from the time when he had been in China during the war, at a time when Joseph Alsop had been an antagonist to Mr. Davies in the back room battles regarding wartime Chungking. Mr. Alsop, as a result, had been called to testify before the Loyalty Board in the case of Mr. Davies, explaining some of the complexities of the wartime Chinese political situation, which had led to the despair of Mr. Davies regarding the Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai-shek, and the attempts of Mr. Davies to promote a type of Chinese Titoism, that is cultivation of Communist leaders who would be sympathetic to the West while distancing themselves from Moscow, as Tito in Yugoslavia. Mr. Alsop recounts that the five members of the Loyalty Board had listened politely, but obviously had not paid much attention or been able to understand the tortured history of U.S. wartime policy in China and "cared less". They were aware of what Senator McCarthy's security system could do to them if they voted to clear Mr. Davies.

Mr. Alsop recounts that he told the board that he believed he had been correct in fighting the policy advocated by Mr. Davies, by both fair means and, occasionally, foul. But, he remarks, the Davies policy of trying to promote Chinese Titoism was better than the China policy the country eventually did adopt, which was no policy at all. He indicates that it was clearer now than it had been at that time that Mr. Davies was a brilliant political analyst with remarkable insight. But even if his judgment had been flawed, he should not be denied the right to learn from experience.

Life magazine, stoutly anti-Communist, in an editorial on China in spring, 1944, had more echoes of the Communist Party line than found in the dispatches of Mr. Davies from Chungking, but the magazine had learned better soon afterward, as had Mr. Davies.

The Alsops conclude that the frightened members of the loyalty board who had sat in judgment of Mr. Davies had been under significant pressure to convict him, that there was no evidence of his disloyalty and so they couched their decision on the basis of "indiscretion". That would be little consolation to Mr. Davies, who had served the Government to the best of his ability for 23 years, and who had now been fired without a pension, and publicly disgraced.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that though the Republicans had lost control of the Senate, the President had emerged from the midterm elections with prospects of about the same degree of voter support for his program in the Senate which he had during the present Congress, sufficient to win most tests, but too thin to prevent him from suffering bruises in the process. In the 84th Congress, to start in January, he could expect slightly more support for his foreign policy, but would probably face more opposition to his domestic program, based on the Quarterly's check of the record. The Quarterly had compared the votes and positions of new Senators to those of their predecessors on major issues to try to forecast how they would respond to the Eisenhower program.

Regarding the domestic program, including taxation, public housing, farm price supports, public power, civil defense, statehood for Hawaii and Alaska, and labor, 43 Republicans and four Democrats could be expected to support it, while one Republican and 40 Democrats, plus independent Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, would be opposed to it. Three Republicans and four Democrats remained on the fence, perhaps sometimes giving support and on other issues, providing opposition.

Of the new Senators, Clifford Case of New Jersey would likely be one of the Senators on the fence regarding domestic policy, while his losing opponent, Charles Howell, would likely have been opposed to it. Senator-elect Richard Neuberger would be among the 40 Democrats expected to oppose the Administration's domestic program, while his predecessor, Senator Guy Cordon, would have supported it. In the new Congress, there would be three fewer Senators who would be in the center position, dividing their votes between favoring certain parts of the policy and opposing others. But not even the most consistent opponents would oppose parts of the program every time and, by the same token, few Senators would vote with the Administration on every issue. The new Senators and the holdovers would likely give the President narrow victories, however, on most major, controversial domestic issues.

In 1954, the President had won approval from Congress on nearly 65 percent of his program, foreign and domestic, major points and minor ones, the Congress having approved of 13 of the 19 major programs submitted.

On foreign policy, including such issues as foreign aid, reciprocal trade, immigration, overseas military commitments, and the Bricker amendment to the Constitution to curb the treaty-making powers of the President, the new Senate would likely split between 20 Republicans and 25 Democrats, plus Senator Morse, in favor of Administration positions, while 22 Republicans and 14 Democrats would vote against them. That would be a gain of four in favor of his program and a reduction of one among the opposition, with a decrease of three among members on the fence. Senators Case and Neuberger would support the President's foreign policy, while defeated Senator Cordon, along with defeated Mr. Howell, would have opposed it to a great degree.

It indicates that the Senators had been rated on the basis of their positions taken during the 83rd Congress and that strategy in both parties might change as the 1956 election drew closer. During the campaign of 1954, the President had said that he feared that Democrats, if they obtained the majority again, might resort to obstructionism if those tactics would help their 1956 efforts to win back the White House. But Democratic leaders, Sam Rayburn in the House and Lyndon Johnson in the Senate, had promised to avoid any "cold war" with the White House. In addition, some of the Republicans who had supported the late Senator Taft for the Republican nomination in 1952 might stray from the Administration position if they were to decide the President could have won more votes for the Republicans with policies further to the right. Most of the President's support on foreign policy would likely come from the East, while the Midwest would present his main obstacles.

Among supporters of his foreign policy, 19 Senators would hail from the East, nine from the South, nine from the Midwest, and nine from the West, while opponents numbered four from the East, 12 from the South, 13 from the Midwest, and seven from the West, with fence striders consisting of one from the East, five from the South, two from the Midwest, and six from the West.

The East also promised to be the President's main source of comfort on domestic matters, but the Midwest would run a close second, while most of the opposition would come from the solidly Democratic South. Providing support of his domestic program would be 17 Senators from the East, three from the South, 16 from the Midwest, and 11 from the West, while opponents would include six from the East, 19 from the South, six from the Midwest, and 11 from the West, with those on the fence including one from the East, four from the South, two from the Midwest, and nine from the West.

A letter writer expresses agreement with Recorder's Court Judge J. C. Sedberry, who had lost his bid a week earlier to unseat Congressman Charles Jonas, when he had said that all was not well with the Democratic Party, which this writer finds had been "sick and corrupt" for nearly 20 years. He cites as example two candidates in Charlotte Township for the office of constable who had turned out to have criminal records, despite having been approved as candidates in the spring primary by the local Democratic organization before the criminal history came to light through news reports. One of them had been elected because there was no opposition. He indicates that he voted for the man rather than the party, and that those who had voted for Congressman Jonas had clear consciences, despite being Democrats.

You will find, of course, in time, that the Republican Party organization, especially after Mr. "McNixon" takes over leadership, is "as clean as a hound's tooth" and then some...

A letter writer responds to an article in the November 4 edition of the newspaper regarding Mr. Sedberry and his statement that he believed there was an enforceable law on the books which provided that registered Democrats who voted Republican could be challenged in the ensuing primary, making this writer blush with shame that such a thing could take place, as no one was supposed to know how voters cast their ballots. He insists that voters would register as they pleased and vote as they pleased.

A letter writer from Gastonia, a corporal in one of the branches of service, indicates that men in the armed services held in their minds and arms the future of the nation, and in return for carrying that weight, asked only to be remembered once per day by letter or prayer.

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