The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 14, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had met with Democratic and Republican Congressional leaders this date for a foreign policy discussion, which touched on efforts to secure release of the 13 Americans imprisoned by the Communist Chinese for alleged espionage. The session dealt with national defense and the mutual security program of foreign aid, as well as foreign affairs, starting with a review of the world situation by Secretary of State Dulles. The Secretary had left the White House about 45 minutes after the start of the meeting, telling newsmen he had briefed the leaders on the portion of foreign affairs involving Congressional action. He said there had been one question about the release of the Americans, but declined to elaborate. White House press secretary James Hagerty said that the early discussion in the meeting had dealt primarily with the fiscal aspects of foreign affairs, national defense and foreign aid.

The State Department press officer, Lincoln White, told newsmen this date that the Department had ruled out any deal with Communist China to swap 35 Chinese students in the U.S. for the 11 imprisoned airmen accused of espionage. A Peiping radio broadcast had hinted that Communist China was seeking to coax the U.S. into a deal, saying that it would be flouting international law if it held the 35 Chinese students in retaliation for the jailing of the airmen, suggesting to some diplomats that the Chinese Communists were seeking to save face by placing the onus on the U.S. to negotiate for the release of the prisoners. Mr. White said that the airmen and the Chinese students were in completely different categories, the airmen having been prisoners of war, shot down during the Korean War and, in consequence, entitled to full international rights as such, while the students were civilians whose cases were still under study. He repeated the U.S. accusation that holding the airmen was a violation of the Korean Armistice, under which all prisoners of war were supposed to have been repatriated to their country of choice. The Chinese students had been in the country since before the Communists had taken over China in 1949. At the Geneva peace conference the prior May, the Chinese delegate had told a press conference that the U.S. was holding 5,000 Chinese students, but two days later, Mr. White had told the press that the figure was exaggerated out of all proportion. Both sides at the time ruled out any deal. According to 1951 registration of the Chinese students, the total actually was 4,500, and of those, Department figures showed that 430 had requested permission to return to the Chinese mainland, of whom 124 had been refused. That left 306 who were free to move about, communicate with anyone they pleased, and obtain a job of their choice, as long as they maintained written communication every three months with immigration authorities, a procedure which applied while the country was at war or in a state of emergency, lasting until ordered terminated by either the President or Congress. Department officials said that the 124 Chinese students who had been denied permission to leave the country had recently been resurveyed, and that half of them had decided to remain, with 62 having been interviewed, after which it was decided that 27 could return home, leaving the 35 cases still under consideration. Department authorities said that the 4,500 Chinese students generally came from affluent families, sent to the U.S. for advanced study.

In Athens, Greece, a band of 4,000 students stoned American aid offices this date in protest against U.S. refusal to support Greek claims to the British island of Cyprus. After windows had been smashed, police, wielding clubs and fire hoses, dispersed the crowd, after traffic in the heart of Athens had been stalled for nearly two hours. Sixty-five persons, including some policemen, were injured sufficiently to require first aid, and seven had been hospitalized in serious condition, while several hundred onlookers had been soaked by water.

In Cleveland, O., during the first-degree murder trial of Dr. Samuel Sheppard for the killing of his wife, Marilyn, the prior July 4, cross-examination of the doctor ended the previous day with a question by the prosecutor regarding whether he had killed his wife and inflicted the injuries on himself, to which Dr. Sheppard said, "That is absolutely untrue and unfair." It was the only time during the lengthy cross-examination that the defendant had raised his voice. The prosecutor had asked him whether or not he had inflicted his own injuries by jumping off a platform onto the beach outside his home, which the doctor denied, saying he believed that would be impossible, that in that event, there would have to be an injury to the top of his head, which had not occurred. The prosecutor had also asked him whether or not cold water was more effective in removing bloodstains than hot water, with the doctor replying that he was no authority and had never tried to do so. The prosecutor was attempting to suggest that the doctor had run down the steps after the murder and plunged into Lake Erie to wash away the blood from his clothing. It was the fourth consecutive day that the doctor had testified. Additional cross-examination and then redirect examination by defense counsel would follow this date, with the testimony of the doctor ending in the morning session.

On the editorial page, "Armory Should Not Be Rebuilt" indicates that a statement issued this date by the chairman of the Charlotte Auditorium-Coliseum Authority had removed any lingering doubt about future policies of the multi-million dollar community center and destroyed an argument that the Park & Recreation Commission should rebuild the Armory-Auditorium, which had burned down earlier in the year. The chairman had indicated that the Authority's intention was to give all assistance possible in promoting the use of the new facilities for local cultural, civic, educational and religious purposes, and to facilitate that end, would seek to keep charges for use of the facilities in the lowest range possible.

It finds the statement to suggest that the insurance money for the fire should be put to better use, such as improvements in the Charlotte parks or building of a small field house at the stadium, and urges the Commission to abandon any idea of rebuilding the Armory-Auditorium, as it would have little if any real usefulness.

"George Barclay: Target for Tonight?" indicates that the head football coach of UNC had been on the hot seat for several weeks because of a less than stellar season, finishing a dismal 4-5-1, with the capper being a 47 to 12 loss to Duke. Within a matter of hours after that loss, a venomous Barclay-Must-Go movement had ripened into a full-blown crusade, and this night, he would likely learn of whether he would be fired or allowed to continue, with the discontented alumni wanting him to go. The University's Athletic Council was to meet this night, likely to decide his fate.

It quotes from the student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, saying that the coach had not been derelict in his duty or failed to try to do his job well, that there was nothing morally wrong with him and he got along well with his fellow man. But there was a "yelping jury of alumni" who wanted to fire him because his team had lost five football games during the season.

One alumnus had written all of the state's sports editors that "hundreds of contributors to the Educational Foundation did not make contributions this year and still more will make none next year unless something is done."

It points out that the phenomenon played out throughout the nation, with coach Harold Drew having been fired at Alabama, along with Harvey Robinson of Tennessee, Bill Young of Furman, John McMillan of The Citadel, DeOrmond McLaughry of Dartmouth, and Bernie Witucki of Tulsa, with more perhaps to be fired before the start of the new year.

It finds that the emphasis on winning had grown all out of proportion. Carl Snavely, after several superior seasons, had been ousted at UNC two years earlier after three losing seasons, telling the members of the American Football Coaches Association in January, 1953, just after his departure from UNC, that a coach had to win his share of games, asked rhetorically what that share was, indicating it ought obviously to be 50 percent, because where there was a winner, there also had to be a loser. But, he continued, for the football coach, the law of mathematics surrendered to strange computations, such that 50 percent was not enough.

It finds such a system distasteful and without validity, that when football sunk to such depths, it had sunk too low for a place in institutions of higher learning. "Super-commercialization of athletics with the sole emphasis on win, win, win, has no place in the program of a great university."

It suggests that if the matter were brought to a vote before the Athletic Council at UNC this night, it had but one choice, to live up to its moral and legal responsibilities to an employee of the University, and that if it instead bowed to the will of a group of discontented alumni who judged the University's prestige by its record in football, it would be "a poor commentary on contemporary values in American education."

Coach Barclay would remain for another season, but after things would go from bad to worse, compiling a record of 3-7 in 1955, he would be ousted after his third year as head coach.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Memo to the Alumni", indicates that the Chapel Hill chapter of Phi Beta Kappa had initiated 47 students during the fall, 41 of whom were North Carolinians, suggesting that the high schools in the state were producing good scholastic material, with five hailing from Chapel Hill.

It couches the "memo" in language similar to football recruiting news, for effect.

Drew Pearson indicates that Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, who had returned from the Inter-American Conference in Rio de Janeiro, had told friends that if he were 25 years old, he would go to Brazil by the next boat, working his way down if necessary, and that by the time he would be 40, he would be a millionaire. His brief trip to South America had convinced him that the region was on the threshold of phenomenal industrial development, and that if American businessmen were wise, they would invest more in Latin America than in other parts of the world.

HUAC would soon publish a sensational but tragic report on "Neo-Fascist and hate groups", a subject which the Committee had ignored for nearly a decade, as fighting Communism offered more headlines. The report singled out the National Renaissance Party for possible prosecution under the Smith Act, and also criticized the hate-peddling paper "Common Sense". It was the first official suggestion of applying the Smith Act to a Fascist group since it had been passed 15 years earlier. The Committee found that the "program and propaganda" of the National Renaissance Party had been "virtually borrowed wholesale from the Fascist and Nazi dictators." The director of the party boasted that "what Hitler accomplished in Europe, the National Renaissance Party shall yet accomplish in America." It had a "uniformed elite guard in the Nazi style", according to the report, though a bolt of lightning had replaced the swastika. The report said that the party's aims were "preservation of the white Aryan race by gradual deportation of the unassimilable, the denial to Jewish people of citizenship, professional and political posts and the right of intermarriage." While it was avowedly anti-Communist, it praised the anti-Semitic purges in Prague two years earlier and agreed with the Communists that "the economic and political ambitions of a small coterie of Wall Street bankers" were pushing the U.S. into war. It also praised "the superbly efficient totalitarian economic systems of the Communists."

"Common Sense" had labeled President Eisenhower a "Marxist stooge", and had similarly attacked nearly every other prominent American. The publication represented a modern example of the racketeers who had made a business out of hate propaganda during the 1930's.

The report said that the Committee was convinced that "there is a current need for continuous investigation, exposure and, where necessary, prosecution, to the end that no activity of a pro-Fascist nature will ever be permitted to gain substantial stature or influence in the United States."

Mr. Pearson notes that the Committee had not held a hearing on the subject of fascism since January, 1946, when it had looked into Gerald L. K. Smith, whose influence and wealth had grown considerably since that time.

Joseph Alsop, in Saigon, finds some truth in the Communist propaganda of the Vietminh radio, constantly denouncing the South Vietnamese Government as a mere shadow of a shadow, as, for the time being, that was what it was. If South Vietnam could be said to have a government, it was the underground government of the Vietminh.

In Saigon, where the same gangsters who ran the gambling, the prostitution and the opium dens also constituted the police, life went on as if the fate of Hanoi in the north, in the hands of the Communists, were something which had happened on another planet. The really important political process in Southern Indo-China was not the dreary round of intrigue among the non-Communist Vietnamese political leaders in Saigon but rather the progressive takeover of the rest of South Vietnam by the Communists.

Under the terms of the Geneva agreement concluded the previous July, the Vietminh were supposed to evacuate South Vietnam, just as the French forces had evacuated from the North. The Communist regular troops, which formerly held four large areas in the South, had moved out as promised, but the Communist cadres were left behind. More important, the Geneva agreement and the subsequent transfer of authority to the Vietnamese had left a nearly total power vacuum in large areas, which the Communists had not formerly held. Because of its quarrel with the Army and its own inherent weakness, the Government of President Ngo Dinh Diem had hardly attempted to govern. Thus it had been very easy for the Vietminh to send their cadres into the provinces and establish themselves in the villages. They organized "Committees to Defend Peace" as the governing bodies of the villages, after which came "committees to defend the interests of the peasants and workers", which were the courts, also operated by the Vietminh, plus innumerable women's organizations, youth organizations and the like, which served as instruments of propaganda.

The villagers saw no other authority which reached down to them, and both villagers and townspeople had been impressed by the Vietminh victory at Dien Bien Phu the prior May, and its aftermath. They regarded the Vietminh as the wave of the future and because there was no counter effort to balance the work of the cadres, the villages were passing into their control.

Mr. Alsop cites as an example a French officer, half Vietnamese, Colonel Leroy, who had formerly ruled a province, Ben Tri, celebrated for its immunity from Communist penetration accomplished through imaginative reform and organizing at the village level, achieving positive anti-Communist unity among the people. But then Colonel Leroy was transferred, leaving a vacuum in the province, as elsewhere, and now among the hundreds of villages in that area, there were reported to be less than a score which still had "Councils of Notables", the Saigon Government's instrument of village administration, while in most of the other villages, the "Peace Committees" prevailed.

A few days earlier, Mr. Alsop had visited a rubber planting region near the Cambodian border, where the large plantations had fortified themselves with their own small armies to carry on rubber production through the civil war. But immediately after the Geneva agreement, the Vietminh organizers had entered the villages of the rubber workers and now one of the largest plantations was under the effective control of the Vietminh, with the French manager running the plantation through the Vietminh leader, obtaining in the process excellent production results. The other planters had not been prepared to submit in that manner, but said it was only a matter of weeks before the Vietminh would be deeply entrenched as the real government of their region. There was no violence and, on the surface, life went on as usual, and for the rubber planters and their families, better than usual, because they no longer had to wear revolvers or carry submachine guns to their swimming pools on Sundays.

There was a new sign every day, however, of the weakness of the South Vietnamese Government and the encroachment of Communism, such as the recent arrest of the father-in-law of the present foreign minister of South Vietnam for joining and founding a peace committee in Saigon. All the signs pointed to the creation of an effective underground government of South Vietnam by the Communists.

Mr. Alsop concludes that a strong and efficient non-Communist government, working closely with the Vietnamese Army and re-establishing authority in the countryside while carrying out the needed reforms, could yet halt and roll back the process of Communist penetration. But, he warns, there was very little time and no such non-Communist government had yet appeared.

Doris Fleeson indicates that the President had excellent connections with the advertising moguls of Madison Avenue in New York, but that either he had neglected to consult them or they had let him down when he adopted "progressive-moderate" as a campaign slogan for Republicans in the midterm elections, as it did not fit within the conventional mold of campaign chants. The word "progressive" had been a three-time loser in American politics, starting with Theodore Roosevelt and his Bull Moose Party in 1912, followed by the LaFollettes of Wisconsin, when Robert had failed with it nationally and the state dynasty did not long outlive him, while its latest incarnation, in 1948, had advanced at its head former Vice-President Henry Wallace and Senator Glen Taylor as his running mate, also not succeeding, both having receded into the background since.

She cites other reasons why the phrase had not succeeded, suggests that it was usually reporters who invented political catchwords out of their professional compulsion to be interesting, and as the internal war between the President and other Republicans in the Congress developed, they might come up with something. The 1952 and 1954 elections had shown that the President was bigger than his party and she suggests leaving it to Senator McCarthy to invent a phrase. But he did not have one either and was shying away from developing a third party. Some of his supporters had suggested that he apply the "Fabian Socialist" label to the President, but that was too exotic to be applied to the popular President, as no one would believe it, which summed up the difficulty which the Eisenhower opposition had for 1956.

Business Week discusses automobile accidents in the country, finding that a study performed by Cornell University Medical College had determined that the largest reported cause of injuries, constituting 17.4 percent of them, came from being thrown completely out of a vehicle, nearly doubling the risk of serious injury. That ran contrary to the usual idea of being "thrown clear" of an accident while another person left inside the vehicle was "crushed".

The findings of the study had also dispelled the myth that the front passenger seat or the middle seat was a "suicide seat", with the findings showing that the driver was just as likely to be injured, while rear seat passengers were less likely than front seat passengers to be injured. Early analyses showed that the primary causes of injuries inside the vehicle were from striking the instrument panel, causing 13 percent of the injuries, the windshield frame and glass, causing 11 percent of injuries, the steering components, also 11 percent, and door components, accounting for 10 percent.

While most research studies in the area had been conducted by assessing head-on collisions, the Cornell study found that those collisions accounted for less than half of accidents. They also found that the occupants were not always getting hurt in proportion to the severity of the crash, suggesting that auto manufacturers were building safer cars. They believed that more safety provisions, especially incorporation of seat belts, could help reduce serious injuries.

The Cornell group cited an accident they had investigated in eastern Maryland during the year, wherein a young man, disappointed in love, had rammed the gas pedal to the floor and slammed head-on into an embankment while going more than 70 mph, but emerged with only a broken nose and some broken facial bones.

The Cornell study did not touch on the loss to industry of workers from injuries in automobile accidents, but figures from the Navy in 1953 showed that Navy battle casualties and motor vehicle accidents were almost equal in number, but that more than half the battle casualties had returned to duty within 24 hours while the average non-fatal automobile accident victim had to remain in the hospital for 46 days.

A letter writer says he had observed recently on two or three occasions traffic policemen directing traffic from the middle of intersections or other hazardous places, narrowly escaping serious injury or even death during heavy late afternoon traffic, because of poor visibility from smoke, fog and rain, suggests providing them with luminous tape for their uniforms, so that they could be seen by the headlights of automobiles under such conditions.

A letter writer suggests that junk mail addressed to "Boxholder" be delivered to the first boxholder on a postal carrier's route and then provide from public contributions that boxholder with a large garbage can.

A letter writer says that he and his friends had appreciated and enjoyed the story by Julian Scheer of The News, written about "Our Boy", Jimmy Kilgo, WIST's great disc jockey, says that all of them were backing him completely and believed he was the best. He urges any teenager not attending "Kilgo's Kanteen" broadcasts to come on down, as everyone had a wonderful time and had a chance to take part in the program.

What kind of records they play down 'ere? Is it that schmaltzy stuff or the good stuff?

A letter from the executive vice president of the Automobile Club of America urges holiday revelers to take a bus or taxi to and from holiday celebrations, as intoxicated drivers were potential killers, and that when leaving such celebrations, if driving, make the "one for the road" a cup or two of strong coffee, and if the driver felt the least bit tipsy, to request of a more sober guest to be driven home.

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