The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 3, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Berlin at the Big Four foreign ministers conference, Russia's Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov, opening the ninth meeting of the conference, launched a tirade at the West for taking the position that Germany would become a partner in the European Defense Community, the unified army concept between West Germany, Italy, France and the Benelux countries. He declared that the U.S. and Britain were "the midwives of the European army". He tried again to impose the concept of a unified Germany under a provisional government prior to conducting free elections, whereas the Western foreign ministers wanted first free, secret-ballot elections throughout Germany. A late bulletin indicates that Mr. Molotov had proposed that 68 million Germans would choose by general plebiscite between alliance with Western Europe and an immediate peace treaty. There was no real hope of the Russian concept being accepted, and so the speech was primarily aimed at propaganda value at home.

The President said this date at a press conference that he would oppose any attempt to change the traditional balance of power among the three branches of the Federal Government through the Bricker amendment regarding treaty-making powers, but declined specific comment on the various compromise proposals pending before the Senate, saying that he was still willing to endorse any compromise designed to make it clear that no treaty would contravene the Constitution. Senator Walter George of Georgia appeared to have rallied a majority of the 48 Democrats behind his compromise which he offered the previous day as a substitute measure for the Bricker proposal, leaving the compromise proposed by Senate Majority Leader William Knowland dependent on the 47 Republicans, only some of whom would be available if others backed the Bricker proposal.

The President also said that he believed the U.S. was going through a period of economic adjustment in the wake of the defense emergency but was confident that everything would turn out all right, that the Administration believed prosperity of the country depended on prosperity of its masses, not on the wealth of small groups. Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had said the previous day that the country was undergoing a "rolling readjustment" which was nothing about which to be disturbed. The President again said, as in his economic report to Congress, that it would not be wise to raise the minimum wage above 75 cents per hour at present until the economy was stabilized. Ray Scherer of NBC asked the President for comment on the feeling in some quarters that it was practically un-American to say that there was a recession, to which the President responded with a laugh, saying that it was a free country and people were entitled to use whatever language they liked. He said that he believed the country had receded from something as everything was not at its peak.

The President also said that he had instructed aides to make a thorough study to determine whether any breakdown could be made public which showed how many persons of doubtful loyalty had been among the 2,200 supposedly fired by the Administration as "security risks" since the beginning of his term a year earlier. He also said that he deplored any spread of hysterical fear in connection with U.S. possession of atomic weapons, that bombastic statements were not the way to deal with the situation, that a calm attitude was the better course.

Secretary of Labor James Mitchell said in New York, during the "Kate Smith Hour" on NBC television, that he believed AFL President George Meany was "overdrawing the situation" when he indicated that things were going downhill in the economy, and that he believed the year would be prosperous with "nothing but brightness" ahead, that the "prophets of doom" were doing a disservice in continually discussing recessions and depressions, as the country would not have any.

The nomination of Albert Beeson to the NLRB faced indefinite delay this date as the Senate Labor Committee called for full information on his pension rights with a San Jose, Calif., firm, following questioning of him for six hours, voting 5 to 3 the previous night to defer action pending receipt of the further information. The nomination had been recommended by the Committee the previous week on a party-line vote of 7 to 6. Mr. Beeson had pledged that he would be unbiased but Committee Democrats had opposed the nomination, contending that he was "a company man". He had told the Committee that he had no agreement to return to his company, but Committee Democrats produced an article from the San Jose Mercury which quoted him as saying he expected to resume his duties at the end of his one-year NLRB term, Mr. Beeson, however, indicating that he was misquoted, while the newspaper insisted that the story was correct. Senator James Murray of Montana placed in the record a press release from the San Jose company which indicated that Mr. Beeson was on a leave of absence for a year to take the NLRB job, a press release which Mr. Beeson said he had never seen, that he had resigned the company orally to take the position but had not put it in writing. He said that he believed the company could continue his rights to full benefits from the pension by extending his leave of absence.

In Bonham, Tex., a former Texas Power & Light Co. manager, A. G. McRae, announced that he would run for Congress against House minority leader Sam Rayburn, who had represented the district in Congress since 1913 and had rarely been opposed in ensuing elections.

In Tokyo, a trustworthy American military source said this date that a Russian diplomat-spy, Yuri Alexandrovich Rastovorov, who had been reported missing the previous week, was revealing secrets of a Communist spy ring in Japan to U.S. intelligence agents in Okinawa. The source said that he had left the defunct Russian mission in Tokyo out of fear for his life, and that the claim by the Russian mission that he had been kidnaped by the Americans, following his disappearance on January 24, was ridiculous. The source said that he had fled after being ordered back to Moscow because he apparently had softened toward the Americans. The source also said that two other Russian agents in Tokyo, who were friends of Mr. Rastovorov, also wanted to seek asylum with the Americans, but were being sent home, guarded by five other Russians. Mr. Rastovorov was believed to be a lieutenant colonel in the secret police, making him a key figure in a spy ring in Tokyo. He had been under surveillance for more than a year by the U.S., according to the source. His defection could be one of the greatest U.S. Army intelligence coups since the end of the war, as his rank would indicate that he could provide clues to the missing leaders of the Japanese Communist Party, who had gone underground four years earlier. There had been no official comment on the case by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or in Washington, other than denials that Mr. Rastovorov's whereabouts were known.

Robert Eunson, Associated Press correspondent, chief of the Tokyo bureau, in the first of a series of three articles anent interviews with the commander of the Far East Air Forces, General Otto Weyland, indicates that the General believed air superiority had crippled the Communists in Korea by knocking out their planes, supplies, equipment and manpower, while allied infantry held the forward defense line and the Navy had protected the sea lines of communication. He believed that though in the minds of some, too many million American dollars had been pumped into the Korean War, the lessons learned there might save the freedom of the world. He also said that the U.N. Command was pretty certain that the Communists now wanted peace, not because of the two-year stalemate, but to get the allied airpower off their back. He said that U.S. Air Force jets had destroyed Communist factories in North Korea and knocked down enemy MIG-15 jets at the rate of 110 to 2, as in the last two months of the war, the truce having been concluded at the end of the prior July. He said that 48 rockets could be fired from a U.S. jet fighter, any one of which capable of knocking down an enemy bomber or fighter, and that two 1,000-pound bombs or a weapon of mass destruction could be carried by jet fighters and pinpointed to demolish a factory, wipe out a military communications center or an enemy airbase stocked with airplanes, which could strike a score of American cities. The General, who had 19 months of command experience in Europe and three years in the Far East, said that a new concept of warfare had been developed in the last two years of the Korean War, allowing ground troops to hold the line while the Air Force pounded everything of value behind the line, that the only thing wrong with the method was that the Communists were aware of it. He stated that after the armistice talks had begun in June, 1951, a year after the start of the war, there was no ground offensive which could bring the enemy out into the open, causing offensive air interdiction of supplies to become difficult, that the enemy knew that they did not have to supply front-line units because they were not having to stop a ground offensive. He indicated that after the start of the armistice talks, the ground mission became two-fold, to ensure that all air and ground installations stayed in friendly hands, and to defend certain terrain features, with a view toward minimizing casualties pending the armistice. The object of the Air Force was then to put so much pressure on the enemy from above that they would have to agree to an armistice and give up the goal of overrunning Korea, that the enemy was suffering so many losses and having so much trouble supplying its troops that it had to have the armistice. He said that they had so much trouble interdicting supplies because nothing had been invented to combat the A-frames used as backpacks by Korean laborers to carry supplies over rough terrain, far from roads. The report of the interview is continued on another page.

From New Delhi, it was reported that scores of Hindus were trampled to death this date in a stampede of religious bathers into the holy waters at the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna Rivers, near Allahabad, with unofficial estimates indicating that between 200 and 1,000 had been killed and another thousand injured. The tragedy occurred at the Kumbh Mela Festival, one of the holiest in the Hindu religion. Some three million pilgrims had gathered at the location in eastern India, 300 miles south of New Delhi. Tradition had it that bathing there during the festival spared the bathers the pangs of rebirth into reincarnation, and Hindu astrologers had proclaimed this date's ceremony as a 12th Kumbh Mela, the most important religious bathing festival in 144 years. The annual bathing festival, known as Magh Mela, was held between January 14 and March 4, commemorating a battle on the site in Hindu mythology, in which the gods had defeated a horde of demons, with every 12th festival becoming the Kumbh Mela, considered more sacred as coinciding with a mystical eclipse of the new moon, considered also the best place and time to die, enabling direct passage to heaven. Prime Minister Nehru was scheduled to visit the festival this date and the Indian President, Rajendra Prasad, was scheduled to join the bathers, but there was no indication where they were when the stampede had taken place.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., an out-of-season loon got mixed up in its flight pattern while looking for a lake on which to land and ran head-on into a passenger plane the previous day at the Kent County Airport. When the loon fell, an airport employee went to its aid and it was now at the public museum nursing multiple injuries.

In Washington, the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list included a man from South Carolina, 35, who was said to have broken up a party in Cleveland a year earlier by killing his wife and another woman and shooting two bystanders, also wanted in connection with an $11,000 payroll robbery in Philadelphia at the time of the Cleveland killings, in November, 1949. He was a native of Greenwood County, S.C., and the FBI described him as "a cop-hater", who had a record stretching back to 1939 when he had served time for robbery in the Pennsylvania State Industrial School. That school apparently had not served him well.

In Endicott, N.Y., a man of nearby Binghamton had walked into police headquarters and reported that someone had taken his overcoat while he was in a diner, and the police located it quickly by the fact of a traffic ticket found in a coat which the man had picked up by mistake.

On the editorial page, "An Editor Hurls a Challenge" refers to the piece on the page by Weimar Jones, president of the North Carolina Press Association, who had spoken to the Association at a dinner at Duke University the previous Friday, commenting that liberty was not synonymous with license and that responsibility went hand-in-hand with journalistic power. It quotes from the speech and urges that readers peruse his full remarks as printed.

"You're Not Confused, Mr. Fleming" indicates that Lamar Fleming, Jr., head of the world's largest cotton firm and a member of the President's commission on foreign trade, had expressed apparent confusion over the fact that the Government had more butter, edible oils and other agricultural products than it could distribute, while refusing to sell them to Iron Curtain countries. It suspects that Mr. Fleming, in his address the previous week in Atlanta to the National Cotton Council, was not so confused in fact, that he understood that the danger of embargoes and tariffs imposed by the U.S. and other countries was aggravation of the imbalance between creditor and debtor nations, which could be resolved by free trade and free convertibility of currencies.

The piece indicates that the Government policy of prohibiting sale of butter and edible oils to Communist countries was based on the fear of reaction by American consumers to the sale at below market prices paid by consumers and that trade with Communists might be construed as a means of aiding the enemy. In answer to those objections, wheat, for example, and bread made from it, was cheaper abroad than in the U.S., because the International Wheat Agreement provided years earlier that several wheat exporting nations, including the U.S., would make a quantity of wheat available on the world market at a maximum price, which had been set at 40 to 68 cents per bushel less than the U.S. domestic price. It ventures that the practice was economically sound because not to sell the wheat, as with the butter, would result in its spoliation. In answer to the second argument, the sale of the surplus goods to Communist countries would actually contribute to the defense and economic health of the U.S., and in the case of butter, would not contribute to the military advantage of Russia. Moreover, the Communists could obtain butter through bartering with Denmark or one of the other Scandinavian countries.

"Once a Week, an Uncommon Delight" indicates that it was time to provide praise to The State magazine, produced by Bill Sharpe and Carl Goerch. Mr. Sharpe, it finds, had outdone himself in a recent issue regarding Winston-Salem, his native city, particularly outstanding in that it did not consist of stories hastily contrived for a special edition but emphasized editorial content, catching the flavor and spirit of the community, threading its history into the present. It indicates that the magazine was written by men who knew and were determined to record for posterity the story of their beloved state, which they related with eloquence, making reading of the weekly magazine an "uncommon delight".

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Snip Those Stringbeans", tells of Harvard anthropologist, Dr. Earnest A. Hooton, being worried about the tendency of tall, thin women to marry tall, thin men and thus produce tall, thin children, wanting instead tall men to marry short women and vice versa, to avoid extremes and produce mesomorphs rather than endomorphic or ectomorphic body structures.

It suggests that he had his work cut out for him as there were social prejudices ingrained in people, that very tall women did not like to be seen next to very short men, as it reminded of Mutt and Jeff, accentuating the height of the woman and the shortness of the male. The same was true of very tall men and very short women.

Dr. Hooton indicated that 22 percent of the 50,000 G.I.'s he had examined were of the ectomorphic type, tall and thin, non-muscular.

It wishes him luck in his attempt but doubts that many parents of teenagers were going to place much faith in the outcome.

Weimar Jones, editor of the Franklin (N.C.) Press and president of the North Carolina Press Association, as indicated in the above editorial, had stated, in an address to the Association delivered the previous Friday at Duke University, the need for the General Assembly to overturn the "secrecy law" which had passed in 1953 to enable, contrary to prior law, budgetary matters to be considered in executive session. He stresses also that journalism was in need of an updated code of ethics, that the existing code of ethics was usually ignored by journalists in favor of sensationalism and the use of florid language, substituting for objectivity in reporting, all done to please corporate advertisers.

He indicates that at the Association dinners, they recognized excellence in writing and photography, and that because of those contests, he believed that newspapers were technically better, but wanted journalism to go further and provide awards for outstanding performance in newspaper responsibility. He believes that the old code of ethics was being ignored because it had been phrased for a world which was vastly different from that of the present, now placing emphasis on freedom of information, a concern not expressed 15 years earlier, or the idea of the right of privacy, also not voiced until a decade or so earlier. There had been likewise no concern in earlier times about the suppression of public information during peacetime in the interest of national security. Thus, under those new conditions, most of the press was in a wilderness without guidance, and therefore he proposes a new code of journalistic responsibility which would delineate those vague areas in which journalists could not find guidance in modern times.

"To seek out and to disseminate truth—ours is a high calling. And you and I live in a great state. I covet for the newspapers of North Carolina the distinction of taking the lead in a movement toward the building of a press so reliable, so courageous, so honest, it will command the confidence of the public." He regards that ultimately as the solution to their problems and the way they could continue to be free.

Drew Pearson indicates that economists were now testifying before the joint Congressional Committee on the Economic Report, issued by the President, starting with the President's top economic adviser, head of the Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Arthur Burns, who sought to explain what was behind the current recession. Many of the economists agreed that it was caused by the fact of the cut in the 60 billion dollar defense budget in 1952 to 31 billion in fiscal 1955, and that removing 30 billion dollars from defense orders had to be replaced economically with something else, such as building schools, housing, bridges, roads or other civilian projects, or the result was inevitably a serious recession. Dr. Burns and the other two members of the Council had been warning for some time that business was slipping, but did not agree with a commentator for major Republican contributor Joe Pew and the Sun Oil Co. that to warn of a business recession was the equivalent of Communist propaganda, that instead they believed that to head off a recession, the economy had to be examined carefully. They also did not agree with some of the "hucksters" immediately around the President that the way to prevent a recession was to say repeatedly that they could not have a recession. Mr. Pearson indicates that the present recession was probably nothing about which to worry, provided it did not become worse. The economists were suggesting privately that to prevent that from occurring would require making sure that the cut in Government spending was not too sudden, and that reduced defense spending would be replaced by peacetime spending.

Mr. Pearson indicates that one interesting thing coming from his recent interviews with Igor Gouzenko, televised on his weekly program, was that the secret Russian code was unbreakable because it used a different code in almost every sentence, the reason why the Russian Embassy in Canada was open about sending the atomic secrets stolen from North America, including even the names of some of its spies, back to Moscow via cable.

He indicates that having a well-trained code-breaking team was the equivalent of a well-trained army and navy, especially in wartime, and that at least on one occasion, the secret code of the U.S. may have been stolen by the Soviets, when two British diplomats, Messrs. McLean and Burgess, had suddenly disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. Though they had no direct access to diplomatic codes, they had copies of decoded U.S. diplomatic documents, which, when compared to coded copies, could be deciphered. Thus, when it came to light that the two British diplomats had disappeared, 50 couriers were dispatched from Washington to 50 different embassies across the world to provide a new code.

He indicates that during World War II, the U.S. had broken the Japanese secret code almost at will, leading to the U.S. victory at the Battle of Midway in 1942, after the U.S. Navy had intercepted a Japanese message indicating that its fleet was converging near Midway for an attack on the U.S., causing the entire U.S. Fleet in the Pacific to rush to Midway, resulting in the victory which crippled the Japanese Fleet permanently. A Chicago Tribune journalist aboard one of those American vessels had nearly revealed that the U.S. had broken the Japanese code, by publishing the entire list of the Japanese Fleet, which could only be obtained through breaking the code. A grand jury called to prosecute the Tribune ultimately did not return indictments because the Japanese had failed to realize the significance of the published list.

He concludes that if Mr. Gouzenko, who had stolen secret documents from the Canadian Russian Embassy and was since living in hiding out of fear that he was a marked man by the Soviets, was correct in his assertion that the Russian code was unbreakable, it shed light on why U.S. intelligence on the Soviet Union was so sparse.

James Marlow, providing the status of the Bricker amendment, indicates that the President was the "living symbol, and one of three custodians," of the basic principle of separation and balance of powers in the Constitution between the three branches of the Government. Within that separation and balance, Presidents had been given considerable latitude in handling foreign affairs, though the power was not absolute, as, for instance, the treaty-making power, subject to ratification by two-thirds of the Senate. But a President could make an executive agreement without Senate ratification. If money were required to back up such an agreement, then Congress would have the ability to approve or not that spending. President Eisenhower had insisted that he needed to retain the traditional freedom in that area of foreign affairs.

Senator John W. Bricker wanted to check that power, out of concern that the Senate might one day approve a treaty which would cause a loss of states' rights, and because a President might one day make an executive agreement which could compromise rights afforded under the Constitution. No one supporting the amendment argued that there was an imminent issue requiring immediate action, and the Senate might wind up sending the matter back to the Judiciary Committee for further study.

In the meantime, Senator Walter George of Georgia, supported by several Democrats, had suggested a compromise proposal, which also was not supported by the President. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California had also produced another compromise proposal. And Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee had suggested a third compromise, whereby only Congressional action via a bill, rather than an amendment, would answer the concerns of Senator Bricker.

The Bricker amendment had been evaluated by the Senate in 1951, during the 82nd Congress, controlled by Democrats. The Judiciary Committee considered it in 1952, and then, at the start of the 83rd Congress, controlled by Republicans, the same Committee, composed of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, held exhaustive hearings in early 1953. The Committee then, on a partisan vote, voted out what was currently known as the Bricker amendment the prior summer. The compromise proposals had been worked out in the past few days.

Robert C. Ruark, still in Sydney, Australia, indicates that Australia had changed since he had last visited four years earlier, that it was less dependent on mother England, and was becoming increasingly independent, using Canada as its example.

The discovery of oil and uranium in Australia, plus the change in the Government was not entirely the cause of the change, as was not the admission of many migrants to the country, creating a more diverse population. He believes that the change instead had occurred primarily as a result of World War II, from which it took the country several years to recover, with the realization during that time that it could no longer depend on England for its resources. The U.S. had a major impact on Australia during and since the war. British Chancellor of the Exchequer, R. A. Butler, had, when asked by a newspaper editor whether he was aware of the transition, commented that it had been noticed as problematic in Britain.

Mr. Ruark regards the change as healthy, as he finds Australia earmarked for greatness which could only be achieved through self-sufficiency, as only Australia could ferret out its own problems and provide the solutions. He indicates that the land was rich in natural resources and exploitation of them was certain, that in time atomic energy would alleviate the water problem, that the influx of migrants would increase the population and the resulting diversity would strengthen the fiber of the people in the future.

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