The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 16, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin at the Big Four foreign ministers conference, Austria, through its Foreign Minister Leopold Figl, firmly rejected the Soviet proposal that under the proposed postwar treaty, they would achieve full independence while the four occupying powers would retain the right to have occupation troops in the country indefinitely, stating that such a change to the present draft of the treaty would be completely unacceptable, as a key part of achieving independence was the withdrawal of all foreign occupation troops from Austria. The four occupying powers had, during the previous seven years, negotiated agreement on 47 of the 52 articles in the treaty, with Russia having offered substitutes for the other five articles and the Western Big Three powers having indicated their acceptance of those amendments and readiness to sign the treaty the following Thursday. But Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had presented the new terms, throwing a wrench into the works. He wanted the occupation troops to be able to remain until German unification was accomplished, but had already thrown a wrench into the works regarding German unification by continuing to insist that a provisional government first be established prior to all-German elections, with the Western Big Three insisting first on elections. Earlier in the day, it had been learned that the Western ministers might propose to Russia immediate steps to make life more bearable inside divided Germany by lowering barriers between the Eastern and Western zones.

In Seoul, South Korea warned this date that an additional 3,000 Indian troops would not leave South Korea until it was assured of future safety for 76 Korean war prisoners presently en route to India. The warning, contained in a letter to Indian Lt. General K. S. Thimayya, chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, did not suggest use of force in response. About 3,000 Indian troops who had guarded the non-repatriating war prisoners had departed for home, leaving about 3,000 troops in Korea. The 76 Korean prisoners had sought to be transferred to neutral nations rather than to North or South Korea, and the Indian command had ordered them sent to India until arrangements could be made for them to live elsewhere. South Korea demanded assurances that removal of the prisoners had been voluntary and that the destinations had been freely selected by them. The U.S. Eighth Army had no comment on the matter.

Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California, without any clear majority indicated for the compromises on the Bricker amendment to the Constitution regarding the treaty-making power, pressed toward a vote on a proposal which would require that treaties be made pursuant to the Constitution, a clause favored by the Administration. But that proposal would have to await Senate disposition of a proposal to require Senate roll-call votes on ratification of treaties, acceptable to almost all Senators except for about 20 who opposed any form of amendment. Senator Knowland had sought to obtain approval for the latter proposal the previous day, after the body had voted 62 to 20 to require that executive agreements, as well as treaties, conform to the Constitution. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, however, objected, asking, "How messed up and confoundedly confused can you get?" Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington said that he believed executive agreements, as well as treaties, ought be included as matters subject to recorded roll-call votes. Senator Walter George of Georgia, leader of a group of Democrats, opposed Senator Knowland's amendment regarding treaties having to be made pursuant to the Constitution. Seventeen Democrats plus Republican Senators Sherman Cooper of Kentucky and William Langer of North Dakota, plus independent Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, intended to fight against any constitutional amendment on the matter.

The House Ways & Means Committee agreed this date to make April 15 the new annual filing date for income taxes, set to take effect in 1955, the present date having been March 15. It said that the change would relieve the difficulties in preparing returns earlier. The President had proposed the change in his budget message to Congress.

In New Delhi, it was reported that a violent Communist-led mob had attacked the U.S. Information Agency Library in the heart of Calcutta this night, spawned by a teachers strike, smashing windows and setting fire to the library. The U.S. Embassy in Calcutta said that police had fired tear gas into the crowd to control the demonstrators, and the mob had then surged into the U.S. Information Agency offices. The reports indicated that there had been no injuries of American personnel.

In Pasadena, Calif., James Roosevelt, son of the late President, would resume testimony this date in the trial of his wife's claim for $3,500 per month in support for her and their three children. He had testified the previous day that documents were missing from files after his estranged wife had broken into his office the prior August. One of his wife's attorneys had the previous day introduced into evidence a torn-up document which referred to a $2,500 trust payable to a woman whom Mrs. Roosevelt had named in her petition, along with two other women, as co-respondents, accusing Mr. Roosevelt of infidelities with a total of twelve women, a claim Mr. Roosevelt had denied. He said that he had placed the money in trust to try to safeguard some of his assets which he believed were being tampered with by his wife, whom he believed would try to withdraw all of the money from their joint account, that the woman had repaid the entire amount to him for his personal use. The attorney had also questioned Mr. Roosevelt this date about a 2.83-carat, $5,000 diamond ring purchased the prior November, Mr. Roosevelt claiming that he bought it for his wife, though one of her lawyers contended it was not her size and that she had never received it. "The Edge of Night" will continue after this pause...

In New York, American Airlines said that the age limit for stewardesses ought be 32, as it wanted young, attractive stewardesses on its airplanes. The Airline Stewards and Stewardesses Association, International had taken the issue to mediation, fearful that the age limit would spread to other airlines, contending that American implied that when a woman reached 32, she became "unattractive, querulous, antisocial and commutes to her job on a broom."

In Albany, N.Y., a jobless woman had apparently gone berserk and used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot five women relatives in their home, killing two sisters and causing a third sister to be hospitalized in critical condition, before shooting herself in the head.

In Caledonia, N.Y., a motorist passed a school bus and the local police chief stopped him and said he would have to be taken before the justice of the peace. The motorist said that he and his female passenger were planning to be married, and so the justice of the peace then married them and the illegal passing charge was dropped, the motorist then writing a thank you note to the justice of the peace. He made an illicit pass and then bussed his bride.

In Seattle, a man who had served 46 years in prison at Stateville Penitentiary in Joliet, Ill., was headed toward a new life in Alaska. He had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of a woman in Illinois during a drunken spree when he was 20 years old in 1907. As he was freed the previous day, he had commented about the thousands of cars he now saw on the roads. During his imprisonment, he had learned to garden and had become responsible for the prison's flower gardens, leading to his release after an operator of an equipment company in Fairbanks had read an article about him and his flower work in prison, moving the businessman to become his first visitor the previous year, as his parents were deceased and he never heard from his brothers. The businessman had assured parole officials that he would help the man start a new life and would give him a job if he were released, leading to his parole.

Lucien Agniel of The News tells of General George Marshall visiting his relatives in Charlotte during the morning, with his sister and her husband greeting him at the airport as he arrived, his stay to occur only until the afternoon when he would fly back to Pinehurst. He declined to speak about the Bricker amendment or Indo-China or world affairs in general. When asked about advice for veterans, he said with a laugh, "Keep your mouth shut and stay out of trouble." As he climbed into his sister's car, he rolled down the window and asked Mr. Agniel a question, "How the devil did you know I was on that plane?" Mr. Agniel replied, "No comment."

On the editorial page, "A Chance for Littlejohn To Act" indicates that the Charlotte Civil Service Board had taken a logical initial step the previous day when it asked the chiefs of the local fire and police departments to suggest any changes in the Civil Service Act which they deemed wise and necessary for the ability properly to administer their respective departments.

It indicates that the Chief of the Fire Department, Donald Charles, had, to its knowledge, not complained that he had unduly been hampered by the Act, but that Chief Frank Littlejohn of the Police Department had indicated that greater authority over personnel would enable him to run a more efficient force.

It concludes that it was essential for harmonious operation of the Police Department that the chief and the Civil Service Board work closely together on policy and personnel matters, and the developments during the previous few days had suggested a beginning of better understanding and closer cooperation which ought benefit the Department.

"Warren's Confirmation Overdue" indicates that the confirmation of Chief Justice Earl Warren, named to the Supreme Court by recess appointment of the President the previous October, had still not been confirmed by the Senate, though his formal nomination had been sent on January 11, held up by Judiciary Committee chairman Senator William Langer of North Dakota, awaiting, according to Drew Pearson, an FBI report, though the piece indicates that Senator Langer had held up action until the Justice Department acted on other appointments which the Senator had recommended.

Regarding the latter basis, it finds it not very gentlemanly or respectful to handle an appointment to the highest judicial office in the land in such manner. It indicates that the selection of Governor Warren to become Chief Justice had not been well received by all Senators, some fearing him to be too liberal, particularly on racial matters, while others believed his lack of judicial experience would prove a hindrance. It indicates that the newspaper had felt the same way on the latter point, believed that Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte would have been a better choice, but that the selection of Governor Warren had still been a good choice, as he was a man of high ideals, broad executive experience, loyal, and distinguished in public service.

It concludes that the Judiciary Committee ought report out the nomination without further delay so that the full Senate could then vote on it.

"Despite Reds, the Church Continues" indicates that the Literary Gazette, a Soviet publication, had recently described a packed church in Russia where people, including women and young people, sang religious hymns, and fell on their knees in prayer, part of a derisive exposé of the young man who had preached the sermon, finding it "the picture of moral degeneration", using it as part of a campaign against religion, urging party officials to fight unceasingly against such "remnants of the past".

The piece indicates that, inadvertently, the magazine had provided testimony of the strength of religion in Russia presently, finds it a hopeful sign that the Soviet press found it strong enough that a campaign against it had to be waged, suggests that perhaps Russian Christians might contribute more than one realized to the ultimate downfall of Communism.

"Recollections of Another Fight" indicates that the recently published diary of the late Interior Secretary under FDR, Harold Ickes, had an entry from 1936, stating that he had talked to the President regarding a plan whereby Congress would pass a law taking away from all lower Federal courts the right to pass on the constitutionality of statutes, reserving it to the Supreme Court, requiring the latter to make a statement prior to the passage of any law regarding whether it was constitutional, and if not, indicating the parts of the law which were, and that if Congress then passed the law as originally written, it would become the law of the land, regardless of what the Supreme Court might subsequently rule. Mr. Ickes told of having informed the President that the Supreme Court would then declare the enabling law unconstitutional, with which the President had agreed, stating that to fix the problem, Congress would pass a law which the Supreme Court would then void, and the President would then go to Congress and ask whether he should abide by the mandate of the Congress or that of the Court, after which, with Congressional approval, the President would carry out the will of Congress by use of U.S. marshals, ignoring the Court.

It indicates that whereas in 1936, the judicial branch had been under "vicious attack", the executive branch was currently under such an attack, the first having been spearheaded by the left, the latter by the right, concluding that while the line of attack and the attacking forces had changed, neither side could effectively challenge the logic of the constitutional system of checks and balances.

A piece from the Hartford Courant, titled "A Dog Looks Up", tells of dogs having found in man their personal superior being, master or even god, and that there were times when man rose to full stature in relations with dogs, displaying kindliness and a willingness to go to great pains to help his friend. In Carlsbad, N.M., it was reported that after a puppy had fallen or was pushed into a deep, dry well where it sat for ten days, men and women worked assiduously to extract it, until one young man came up with the idea of using a Navy sea anchor to raise it from the bottom of the well, using bread and milk as a lure.

It indicates that it might strike some as silly for men and women to engage in such effort to rescue one puppy, that thousands of suggestions had poured in from every section of the country on the matter, that it might prove that the American people were maudlin and sentimental or that the dog was smart in selecting man as his best friend. It suggests that it would occur to some of the more philosophical that it would be good for man to do what the puppy had done and look upward.

Louis Graves of the Chapel Hill Weekly indicates that the Men's Faculty Club of UNC had voted at its luncheon at the Carolina Inn the previous Tuesday on the question of whether or not to allow women into the club after 82 of the 180 members had signed a petition for submission of the question to the membership, with its approval, given that no substantial opposition had been voiced, having been assumed by the Weekly prior to the vote. In the end, it had been approved by a vote of 36 to 15, a less decisive victory than expected.

Mr. Graves indicates that as a member of the club, he had opened the discussion on the question by indicating his opposition, providing no reasons because he had none. Another member declared his fondness for women but said that he thought it was refreshing and relaxing for men to get off by themselves once in awhile, that nevertheless if it were approved, he assured there would be no boycott of the meetings, that the membership would welcome women with open arms. Another member had been emphatic in his support of the change, stating that the chairman of his department, psychology, was a woman and that another member of the department's faculty was likewise a woman. He indicated that the club meetings were not held so that men might swap stories and smoke together, but rather for the opportunity to hear talks on intellectual topics. Another member said that he had always been opposed to co-education but that since women were already members of the faculty, they should be tolerated whether one liked it or not. Another member said that the club was a faculty club and that since females constituted about ten percent of the faculty, they ought be allowed to join. Another member said that the club had been guilty of a "cultural lag" in not admitting women, and another said he had recently heard a visitor comment on Chapel Hill's reactionary attitude toward women, that he was therefore in favor of allowing their membership in the club, since they were part of the faculty. During the latter point, another member had said informally that he liked cultural lags and being a reactionary now and then.

When the final vote was announced, Mr. Graves had uttered a loud boo, while the supporters of the change looked at him with pity. When he entered the lobby and met a woman, telling her how he had voted and how the vote had turned out, she said that he had voted correctly, that women had plenty of clubs of their own and so wondered why women would want to break into men's clubs.

Drew Pearson tells of Rollis Nelson, after having been caught speculating in 1950 on the soybeans commodity market while working for the Senate Agriculture Committee, now having become a consultant to Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson. His speculation had occurred while he had inside tips through his work for the Committee. He also had a close association with Ralph Moore, a shady speculator who had later been indicted and suspended from trading on the commodities market after delivering phony press releases to the Agriculture Department press room in an attempt to influence lard prices. Mr. Moore had been a speculating partner of former Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma, when the latter had been also speculating in the commodities market. After the defeat of Senator Thomas, largely because of his speculation, Mr. Moore had gone to work for Senator McCarthy and the bankroll man for the China lobby. Mr. Nelson had lived in the same house with Mr. Moore while a staff member for the Agriculture Committee, and Mr. Moore had also been speculating heavily in soybeans in 1950, as were his China lobby friends. No connection, however, could be proved with Mr. Nelson's soybean speculations, but Mr. Moore had opened an account in cottonseed oil for Mr. Nelson shortly after the latter left the Committee. After former Agriculture Secretary Charles Brannan had discovered the speculation by Mr. Nelson, he alerted Senator Milton Young of North Dakota about the fact, and Senator Young quietly dropped Mr. Nelson from his Committee post. Mr. Nelson had then gone into business for himself as a commodity dealer, renting an office from Mr. Moore. Mr. Pearson indicates that when the column had questioned Mr. Nelson, he had admitted the speculation in the past, but claimed that he was not presently in the market and had sold out the day he came to work for the Agriculture Department.

The battle to save Indo-China was being waged on two diplomatic fronts, as well as in the jungles of Laos at present, the first front being in Berlin, where Secretary of State Dulles had two talks with Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, seeking to get him to call off the Vietminh rebels, receiving in response only a shoulder shrug, which Mr. Pearson indicates was likely all he would get, as the Kremlin was encouraging the war in Indo-China to pressure the French to stay out of the European Defense Community, the unified army of six European nations, seeking to convince them that a negotiated peace could then be obtained in Indo-China. French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault had told Secretary Dulles that the Chamber of Deputies in Paris would almost certainly vote to end the war within the ensuing three months, a warning which Secretary Dulles had relayed to the President the previous week, urging that every bit of aid possible be rushed therefore to Indo-China. The second diplomatic front was in Washington, where there was a division of opinion regarding U.S. aid to the French in Indo-China, with its most vigorous supporter being Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Arthur Radford, leaning toward sending troops and also blockading the Chinese mainland coast, having already given the approval for sending the U.S. mechanics to repair American planes. General Nathan Twining, chief of staff of the Air Force, had opposed sending the mechanics, but was overruled by Admiral Radford and the President. A group inside the Pentagon supporting Admiral Radford's view had developed a plan to send four divisions of U.S. troops to the war, along with U.S. artillery, tanks and jet fighters, but the opposing faction had pointed out that the Chinese Communists would then certainly intervene in the war as they had in Korea, resulting in an all-out war. Meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs had urgently warned the President that Indo-China had to be saved from the Communists lest all of Southeast Asia, including its rice, rubber, and tin. would eventually fall to the Soviet orbit. The President had ordered an emergency re-evaluation study to determine whether the warning was as grave as indicated, and the present atmosphere was one of frustration.

The Panama Canal Co. had reported to Senator John Williams of Delaware that 99 Senators and Congressmen, accompanied by 147 relatives, had taken government-subsidized cruises to Panama during the previous three years.

RNC chairman Leonard Hall had been throwing his weight around the Pentagon, phoning both civilian and military chiefs, demanding special treatment for favored Republican contractors and jobseekers.

The Congressional Quarterly examines the Tennessee Valley Authority, indicating that after 20 years of existence and more than two billion dollars of Government investment, it might be headed for a smaller role on the regional and national scene, as the President had cited it as an example of "creeping socialism". The project directly impacted seven states and also supplied the Atomic Energy Commission with munitions materials for defense, plus fertilizers for farm-education programs in 36 states. It included the generation, transmission and sale of power, resource development and navigation, flood control, fertilizer and munitions programs.

Its supporters pointed out that since its creation by Congress in 1933, the percentage of electrified farms in the valley had increased from three to ninety percent, that it supplied power to an 80,000 square-mile area with 1.3 million consumers receiving power from 150 municipal and cooperative agencies, compared with 300,000 power customers prior to its creation, that it was estimated to have averted 51.3 million dollars worth of flood damage and that its recently completed 630-mile navigation channel had been a boon to river traffic. They also indicated that its fertilizer and resource development programs had helped farming and industry throughout the nation, that in World War II, it had supplied 60 percent of the elemental phosphorus used by the armed forces for munitions.

Those who wanted to reduce it claimed that it had had grown to an unwieldy size, with its 45 original employees having now become 22,406 workers. Presently, 2.66 billion dollars had been appropriated to it, and 2.3 billion dollars of revenues from its operations, such as the sale of power, had been expended, with it having total assets of 1.15 billion dollars, and another 210 million being invested in construction. Its twentieth dam and seventh steam plant were under construction presently.

Many of its supporters had expressed concern that Administration emphasis on a larger role for the states, localities and private business indicated curtailment of TVA. Senator James Eastland of Mississippi had said on February 5 that he was worried about a lot of propaganda being issued to sell off TVA assets to private companies, propaganda which he charged was being issued by "prominent Republicans". But on the same date, Senate Majority Leader William Knowland had said that there was no Administration policy to liquidate or sell TVA. Yet, supporters still insisted that with the sharp cuts made to TVA's resource development appropriations for the current fiscal year, its effectiveness as a regional agency could be impacted. The President had requested comparatively low new appropriations for the project for the ensuing fiscal year, 141.8 million dollars, compared to 190.8 million for the prior fiscal year, which Congress had reduced to 188.5 million.

James Marlow discusses the Senate's legislative program thus far for the second session of the 83rd Congress, indicating that it had started the year fast but had become bogged down on the issue of the Bricker amendment to the Constitution regarding the treaty-making power. It had initially quickly approved the St. Lawrence Seaway project with Canada, a bill it had not been willing to approve during the previous 20 years, however this time being encouraged by the President's support of the project plus the notice from Canada that it would act alone to construct the Seaway if Congress did not approve of the joint venture.

When Senator Knowland then brought up the Bricker amendment, which the President opposed, things bogged down, the amendment having enjoyed a lot of support in the Senate until the President indicated that it would hamstring the authority of the chief executive to conduct foreign policy by making executive agreements subject to the same ratification requirements as treaties. It soon became clear that, as presented, the amendment had no chance of passage, and so the compromise provisions began to be introduced. There was still great sentiment in the body for some kind of restriction on the treaty-making power.

Eventually, Senator Walter George of Georgia had proposed a modification, also opposed by the President, and Senator John W. Bricker was now saying that he and Senator George might come to an agreement on the language of an amendment, though Senator George's proposal had not gone through the extensive hearings that Senator Bricker's proposal had for the previous two years. The process thus undertaken for the compromise had been criticized by some Senators as being too hasty, given that it would change the handling of foreign affairs and that it might be given an interpretation in the future not presently intended. The previous day, some constitutional lawyers, such as 1924 Democratic presidential nominee John W. Davis, had been quoted as saying that they did not know what the language of Senator George's amendment meant.

Mr. Marlow adds that whatever amendment wound up being voted on, it would require approval by two-thirds of the Senate and House members who were present at the time of voting, and then ratification by three-fourths of the states.

A letter writer from Boucette, Tex., responds to a letter of February 10 on the issue of the price supports for butter, wondering what qualified the letter writer to suggest that the price of butter be cut in half, wondering whether he knew what it took to produce a pound of butter and the vitamin contents of same, the substitutes for butter not containing those Vitamins A, B, D, E and F. He asks whether the writer understood that Vitamin E and its complexes developed and stimulated sex, that without Vitamin E, the ensuing generation might be sexless, men's chests hairless and women required to shave. He also wonders whether the writer understood that a fine of $5,000 per day was charged to dairymen who advertised that butter was better than its substitutes, and whether he bought the cheapest article on the shelf regardless of quality or food value.

We had never heard that butter will put hair on your chest, or its absence, undue hair on women's chins, that margarine would have the opposite effects. Perhaps, American Airlines had found that its stewardesses, upon reaching 32, had been eating too much margarine and not enough butter.

A letter writer commends the newspaper for its editorial of February 8 regarding the controversy over the exception to the blue law banning movies on Sundays, permitting their showing during evening hours, opposed by the local ministry, indicating that the newspaper's position had been calm, thoughtful and logical, with which he concurred insofar as the civil law not being a proper resort for enforcement of religious practices.

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