The Charlotte News
Friday, March 12, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page
reports that Senator Joseph McCarthy said that an Army report
The previous night, on the 15-minute
radio program of conservative commentator Fulton Lewis, Jr., on the
Mutual Radio Network, Senator McCarthy accused Edward R. Murrow of
CBS of having been connected with a Moscow school described as
revolutionary, and accused Adlai Stevenson of dealing in untruths,
resulting from Mr. Murrow's Tuesday night broadcast on the CBS
program "See It Now", dealing exclusively with Senator
McCarthy and his rise to power, and Governor Stevenson's statements
critical of McCarthyism the previous Saturday night in Miami Beach at
a Democratic gathering, broadcast nationally on NBC and CBS. The
Senator had sought equal time from NBC and CBS to rebut the remarks
of Governor Stevenson, but the networks had declined, instead
granting 30 minutes to the RNC for the rebuttal, a rebuttal which the
White House had decided would be delivered by Vice-President Nixon on
March 13. Mr. Murrow had responded to the statements of Senator
McCarthy by saying that he actually had been an adviser in an
international education experiment which the Russians canceled in
1935 before any school sessions were held. The Senator had said that
Mr. Murrow felt that he had to smear "McCarthy"—characteristically referring to himself in the third person
The full text of Mr. Murrow's responsive statement, released by CBS the previous night, is included on the page. In addition to his discussion of the Moscow summer school, he indicated that another example of the Senator's "too familiar technique" was his accusation that Mr. Murrow was lying in his contention that the ACLU was never listed on the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations and that neither the FBI nor any other government agency had so listed it, and that the ACLU had in its file letters of commendation from President Eisenhower, President Truman and General MacArthur. The Senator had said that the ACLU had been listed by the California State Senate committee investigating un-American activities, but Mr. Murrow clarified that he was speaking only of the Attorney General's list, the FBI and any other governmental agency. Mr. Murrow concluded his statement by indicating that he would attempt to deal adequately with the Senator's "latest reckless handling of the truth" on his Friday night radio program.
In Washington, Marine Col. Frank Schwable, appearing before a court of inquiry to determine whether a court-martial ought be convened against him for having made false written statements, while imprisoned during the Korean War by the Communists, that he had engaged in aerial germ warfare, had ended his testimony in his own behalf the previous day, indicating that he could outstare but not outlast his Communist tormentors. He told of being forced to live in his own filth, suffering bone-chilling cold in a narrow cell, and being constantly plied with propaganda and questions until he had lost his sense of judgment. He said he had no recollection of when his spirit had finally broken, but he had suddenly found himself saying yes to everything they asked him. The Communist interrogators had told him what to confess and then forced him to write it a little bit at a time, then edited it into a single, smooth-flowing narrative. He said that the words were his but that the thoughts had been those of his captors. The one accomplishment in which he had pride was that he could outstare "any Chinaman in North Korea". He said he had reached a point where he could sit and look straight ahead with his eyes, not thinking anything. He said that when he was writing the statement, he was completely aware that it was wholly false. In response to a question posed by the court, he said that he had no treasonable feeling in his heart. The hearing this date would be in closed session to consider secret documents introduced into evidence, and the inquiry was scheduled to end on Monday with summations by opposing counsel. The court of three Marine major generals and one admiral would then adjourn to write up its recommendation to General Lemuel Shepherd, the Marine Corps Commandant. In reply to a request from the court, the Air Force had refused to permit five former prisoners, who had also signed and later recanted germ warfare confessions, to testify prior to the adjournment of the court, saying that the airmen could not present their testimony until their cases had been decided by a secret Air Force investigation.
In Berlin, a U.S. citizen arranged this date to fly his family to the U.S. after getting his German-born pair of stepdaughters away from their American-hating, Communist grandfather who resided in East Berlin and had sent the young girls, ages 11 and 14, to an East German Communist school and nearly succeeded in indoctrinating them with his hatred for America. The grandfather had blocked all efforts since October, 1952 to get the children to the U.S., where the man and his German-born wife now resided. The couple had managed to convince their reluctant daughters to come to West Berlin to see an American movie with them, and the daughters agreed this morning that they were now satisfied with being in West Berlin with their parents and were anxious to see America. The couple had been married in 1951, when the wife emigrated to study in New York, having been a widow of a German army officer who died in a Soviet prison camp, and had left her two daughters by that marriage with her parents in East Germany. The couple had first made an attempt to retrieve the daughters the prior October but had been unsuccessful, and had returned for this second attempt. The wife was now a naturalized U.S. citizen and the couple had arranged for U.S. visas for their daughters the previous fall, but the grandfather had refused to allow them to leave his home, about 25 miles north of Berlin in the Soviet zone.
In Rome, Premier Mario Scelba's shaky young Government suffered the resignation of the National Police Chief after testimony in court linked him with Italy's biggest postwar scandal, the mysterious death of a high society party girl. The Chief denied "indignantly and in the most categorical manner" allegations implying that he had shielded and received gifts from one of the men prominent in the case. He said that he would take legal action to clear his name. The Premier had won final parliamentary confirmation the previous day for his month-old coalition Government by only a 17-vote majority in the Chamber of Deputies. During the debate, the Communists accused the regime, and the Police Chief in particular, of trying to hush up the scandal regarding the high society party girl. The National Police Chief's position corresponded to that of the director of the FBI in the U.S. The Premier appointed an individual to head an investigation into the matter, regarding which many persons in high positions had been named, including the son of the Foreign Minister. The nude body of the girl had been found on the beach at Ostia the previous April. The police report had said there was no reason to believe that she had died from anything other than accidental drowning, and the police had maintained that stance despite charges published recently in the one-man magazine, Actuality, that the girl had been drugged at an orgy at an exclusive hunting club near the beach and then been left for the tides to drown her. The magazine had named high political and social figures as members of the club, formerly the hunting lodge of Italy's royalty. The editor of the magazine, Silvano Muto, was on trial in a Rome court on charges of spreading false and alarmist reports. A female defense witness in that case testified that she suspected that her former lover, who was a member of the hunt club, knew something about the girl's death, that he knew the girl and that he and the son of the Foreign Minister had visited with the National Police Chief and that her ex-lover had acquired an apartment the previous May for the Chief. She said that she did not know whether the alleged gift was connected with the case of the missing girl. The Chief had denied the story.
In New York, author, screenplay writer, and former News reporter in 1941, Marion Hargrove, was set to marry the divorced former wife of the grandson of the late President Roosevelt. Mr. Hargrove, author of the best-selling account of an Army private's troubles, See Here, Private Hargrove—which Private Schine probably ought to read—, had been divorced from his previous wife in 1950.
In Copenhagen, a 45-year old Danish-American from Minnesota told a reporter this date that he was touring the old country to try to find a Danish wife, stating that she had to be capable of paying half her ticket to Minnesota, have had her appendix removed, and had false teeth, as he did not want any unforeseen expenses. Presumably, an appropriate response to him by way of the want ads would be: "Hey, boy, have false teeth, will travel."
Snow and rain amid winds continued across the plains area fringing the eastern slope of the Continental Divide along the Colorado-Wyoming border, with the winds reaching up to 100 mph in New Mexico, whipping up dust.
In Milwaukee, a pair of three-year olds playing house were puzzled when their mothers became excited because they were cooking "carrots and celery", as their mothers saw the word "poison" printed in bold letters on a can of insecticide powder the children were "cooking". Their mothers poured warm soapy water into the resisting boy and girl and then made a quick trip to the hospital where their stomachs were pumped to remove any poison they might have ingested. When it was all over, the boy and girl decided adults were downright peculiar.
What the three-year olds did was nothing compared to the sergeant at Fort Bragg from Mount Airy who stuck his head in the atomic cannon and had to be extracted over a period of days using all kinds of special saws and drills for cutting steel, cooling liquid to prevent friction from burning him in the process, X-ray machines to avoid inflicting harm during the cutting procedures, finally resulting in his extrication from the bind this date, with the help of some axle grease in the final removal of the remnant of the cannon's muzzle, forming a heavy steel collar, after consultation with some vets—though that is not on the front page or any other page, as they wanted to keep it hush-hush and on the qt. to maintain the morale of the Army, especially on the wane in the face of the attacks thereon by Senator McCarthy. The sergeant was not and had not ever been a Communist.
In Norwich, England, a police sergeant, who had retired from the force in 1911 because of ill health, had died the previous day at the age of 90. We are certainly sorry to hear that, as we are certain some of the residents of Norwich are, too.
On the editorial page, "The President and His Critics" indicates that there was a serious letter to the editor this date which merited a serious answer, the writer of which was a close observer of the national scene and had charged that the newspaper had been "too easy" on the President since he had taken office, and especially in the McCarthy matter.
It indicates that it had been sympathetic to the President because any new President deserved at least a year to become accustomed to the office, and the need was even greater for President Eisenhower, given that he was not a professional politician, but despite that fact, had made a fine record. He had brought forth, after careful deliberation, a positive and progressive program of legislation, had conducted the office with dignity and gone out of his way to restore the constitutional balance between the executive and legislative branches by encouraging Congress to exercise its own responsibilities. Yet, he had resisted the effort of the persons backing the Bricker amendment, which would have eroded the power of the President to make foreign policy, had shown a good deal of force and imagination in foreign policy, and had tried to appoint, ussually with success, good men to public office. He had encouraged bipartisanship and had leaned over backwards to avoid distortion or misrepresentation of the record of previous administrations.
It indicates that Senator McCarthy's real objective was not the pursuit of Communists, but rather the exploitation of America's real concern over possible subversion, motivated by a lust for power and control of the Republican Party, and through it, the nation. He was challenging not only the President but also the American processes and traditions which protected the country from rule by demagoguery or dictatorship. It suggests that the President could not discipline the Senator and should not wallow in the gutter with him, as former President Truman sometimes had done with his irresponsible critics. It indicates that there may have been concessions to Senator McCarthy because of the very thin Republican control of both houses of Congress, a handicap of the President, but it believes that the appeasement of the Senator had been just as unpalatable to the President as it had been to other observers, including the newspaper, and that slowly, the President's dignified, yet forceful, insistence upon basic American principles was resulting in a calmer atmosphere in which the American people were beginning to see Senator McCarthy in the "cruel light of truth".
While it would have given momentary satisfaction for the President at his recent press conference to have slammed Senator McCarthy around in old earthy Army language, the prestige and dignity of the office would have thus been lost. The President might have pleased millions of Americans by an open declaration of war on the Senator but, thinks the newspaper, the strategy he had adopted would be more productive of desired results, and if events proved the opinion wrong, it indicates it would readily admit it.
"Too Many Trips to the Polls" indicates that on April 20, city and county voters would decide on the issuance of $500,000 in bonds for the County home, on May 4, would pass on the proposed two-cent tax levy for support of the two community colleges, and on May 29, would vote in the state-wide primary, with a potential runoff to be held four weeks later.
It finds that there was no good reason why at least two special elections could not have been scheduled for the same date, which would have saved $5,000 in election costs. In the 11 months between November, 1952 and October, 1953, six elections had been conducted in Mecklenburg County, with four more elections held before midsummer, cooling the ardor of the most conscientious voter and election official. There appeared to be two main reasons for that unnecessary frequency of elections, that election plans proceeded independently, with no one making an attempt to correlate them, and because backers of a particular project sometimes feared that it would be put it in jeopardy if voted on at the same time as another proposal. It indicates that such might be good politics but was poor economy and that voters likely would not be enthused about such wasteful activity.
"It's Hard To Live Up to the Ideal" indicates that military regulations prescribed that a captured soldier should give his inquisitors only his name, rank and serial number, that many U.S. prisoners in Korea had gone far beyond that, some who had not been tortured divulging confidential information and signing what the enemy wanted them to sign, or even renouncing their country and deciding to live with their captors. Some had not capitulated, even though they were tortured and starved. The Korean experience suggested therefore that military regulations and the public attitude toward prisoners who did capitulate needed some re-examination.
Giving information beyond name, rank and serial number could enable skilled interrogators to piece together troop dispositions or the arrival of new units, or provide leads regarding the prisoner's home life which would enable his captors to upset the prisoner emotionally. Some prisoners had furnished misleading information to the enemy.
The testimony of Maj. General William Dean at the preliminary inquiry into the conduct of Col. Schwable suggested that the regulation might be unduly harsh and that some persons might have too hastily condemned some of the prisoners who had capitulated. General Dean had won the Medal of Honor, but said that he lacked "the intelligence or strength" to tell the enemy nothing but his name, rank and serial number, despite not being tortured. He had once attempted suicide and was fearful that under interrogation, with one session having lasted 68 hours, he would divulge confidential information. He said that if he ever went to the front lines again he would carry a pill by which to commit suicide in the event of capture. He nevertheless had said to the court of inquiry that he believed it was realistic to expect captured officers to abide by the existing regulations despite having not lived up to them himself.
The piece indicates that torture was an old art and that the Communists probably had not improved on it very much. Techniques of psychological warfare had been refined in recent wars and the Communists had no peer in its use against prisoners. Sometimes, gentle treatment worked better than brutal treatment. It suggests that the men who had broken under pressure might have been heroes had they not been subjected to subtle techniques with which they were ill-equipped to deal. It concludes that if men such as General Dean and Col. Schwable, both with long military training and records of bravery under fire, had not lived up to the ideal, then lesser men who failed should not be hastily condemned.
Drew Pearson indicates that recently he had flown to Mexico City to interview former New York City Mayor William O'Dwyer. He had not granted an interview since he retired as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and had chosen for awhile to live there temporarily rather than return to the U.S. Mr. Pearson had known Mr. O'Dwyer when the State Department had described him as the most popular and effective Ambassador to Mexico since Josephus Daniels, who had retired in 1941, and he had known him personally when he had been in charge of FDR's committee to help Jewish refugees escape the prison camps and soap factories of Nazi Germany. He had also known him when, as a Brigadier General in the Army, he had helped to rebuild Italy. On a very cold December day, he had driven up Broadway with him when the Friendship Train, loaded with contributions by Americans to Europeans in 1947, a concept originally put forward by Mr. Pearson, had been welcomed to lower Manhattan. He had wondered why Mr. O'Dwyer had not returned to New York after leaving his post as Ambassador. He supposes that part of the answer was that he had been married to a woman half his age and there seldom had been a marriage which more cruelly and sensationally had gone on the rocks. Originally, his wife had been the toast of Mexico, but later her flirtations became the talk of Mexico. At the height of that gossip, he had flown back to New York voluntarily to testify before the Kefauver crime committee, where he was grilled by Rudolph Halley, who later aspired to become mayor of New York, himself. Mr. O'Dwyer had been suffering from pneumonia at the time and had a temperature of 101. He was grilled about James Moran, his deputy fire commissioner who later had gone to jail for perjury and extortion. He had been close to the Mayor but no closer than to J. Russell Sprague and New York Secretary of State Curran, and some other men who had boosted Thomas Dewey up the political ladder and who had been exposed as having their hands in the racetrack till.
When Mr. Pearson had asked Mr. O'Dwyer about some of those things, he said that he could not understand Mr. Moran, that he had always trusted him, and that one had to judge Governor Dewey on his accomplishments, not on the basis of the men around him, that a governor or mayor could not always know everything which was going on around him and that the Governor could not be held responsible for what some of his friends had done. He said that the greatest amount of graft in New York City politics was in building contracts, as it was in any city. He had continued Robert Moses in the job of handling building contracts and insisted that nothing was done improperly in more than a billion dollars worth of such contracts. Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. O'Dwyer had built more schools, more hospitals and more public housing than any other mayor in New York's history, even outdoing Fiorello LaGuardia.
Mr. Pearson had inquired about the problem of racetrack gambling and a proposal which the Mayor had made which had caused headaches and criticism, to which he responded that people would gamble and that he thought that since they were bound to gamble, it should be made legal and taken away from the underworld. When he had proposed that, he received a lot of criticism, but noticed that some of the newspapers had come around to his point of view.
Mr. Pearson relates that in Mexico City, people crowded around Mr. O'Dwyer in restaurants or in the American Club as if he were still the Ambassador, that he was so popular that it was embarrassing to the new Ambassador, Francis White.
He says that in addition to his bad marriage, there were other reasons why Mr. O'Dwyer had not returned to New York, some of which were sentimental. Born in Ireland and migrating to Brooklyn where he had become a cop, a district attorney, a judge and one of the most popular mayors in recent history, Mr. O'Dwyer was heartbroken when the city for which he had done so much turned against him. Overnight, his years of service had been forgotten, all because of Mr. Moran—who had recently written to the sentencing judge in his case that he wanted to discuss some matters, presumed to be the graft in the O'Dwyer Administration, revelation of which during the first two years of his 12.5 to 25 year sentence would potentially result in a revised sentencing. Mr. O'Dwyer had broken up the worst crime ring in New York history, Murder, Inc. He had convicted a killer responsible for 70 murders. Yet, the city had condemned him because one man in his Administration had turned sour.
Doris Fleeson indicates that Vice-President Nixon's assignment the following day, in answering Adlai Stevenson's speech in Miami Beach the previous Saturday, would be to bring the focus on the Eisenhower program for the fall elections and that chances were he would not mention the name of Senator McCarthy. Even Democrats admitted that the Eisenhower program was appealing subject matter, and they expected the Vice-President to promote the changes on the Korean truce, the reduced deficit and the cuts in taxes, the new look in the military, the expansion of Social Security to cover more people with increased benefits, and the proposals to reinsure private health insurance plans.
The White House, especially the President, was sick of Senator McCarthy and wanted an opportunity to obtain a fresh perspective on the Administration. Responsible Senators had quoted the President as cussing in private about Senator McCarthy and were amazed that he was able to contain himself so well when confronted with the issue publicly. They believed that he had determined to take the advice of his mentor, Maj. General Wilton Persons, the Congressional liaison officer at the White House, as it was the General who had guided candidate Eisenhower through the pre-nomination period without a fault. Those Senators believed that the President sincerely did not see Senator McCarthy as posing anything more than a political headache, affording the opportunity to others to say something else.
The President was making some progress in his insistence that the Senate discipline Senator McCarthy, as Republican policymakers were now saying that they would offer new rules for the conduct of committees, but appeared neither happy about the opportunity to do so nor very optimistic that Senator McCarthy would be responsive to the new recommendations.
Democrats believed that in the fall campaign, the Republicans would be on the defensive about Senator McCarthy rather than placing the Democrats on the defensive about Communism. Supporting that belief was the fact that the Administration had not clarified the numbers regarding the "security" terminations from the Government and how many were actual subversives, an area in which the Eisenhower Republicans were plainly on the defensive. Ms. Fleeson concludes, however, that it was not clear whether or not the country had generally swung away from the sentiments which had induced the RNC to make Senator McCarthy its featured Lincoln Day speaker.
Robert C. Ruark, in Wellington, New Zealand, indicates that he had been strangely unmoved by the attempts to make Communism illegal and membership in the party a punishable offense. He suggests that applying the death penalty, as recommended by Governor Allan Shivers of Texas, appeared a little too harsh. But he also recalls that the previous June, the country had executed the Rosenbergs for being successful Communists, although the basis for the offense had been theft of atomic secrets with the aim of destroying the U.S.
He finds Communism of the present to bear little resemblance to that of his college days, when every "third pseudo-intellectual thought it smart to veer widely left." At that time, Communism had been a mood, not an overt act of treason. It was an "ideal of misguided, muddled thinkers, trying to rebuild a world in which the word 'Fascist' then had the same meaning as 'Communist' has today." He suggests that everyone knew that Communism was not a political creed or a rightful expression of free speech and political action, that the Communist presently was "as much a willful architect of mass murder as a Mao Mao oath administrator."
He thinks it would be foolish to try
to punish all of the "fuzzy liberals and dumb joiners" who
had become Communists many years earlier when Russia had been an
ally, but sees no injustice in making Communist activity a crime,
subject to certain punishment, for joining the Communist Party into
the future. Now, the society was punishing Communism through the
circuitous route of perjury, an indirect method of getting at the
core of the matter, and undertook another form of punishment by smear
and indirection through McCarthyism
He suggests that if there were such a thing as an American Communist Party dedicated to changing policy through the vote, then it would be unconstitutional to make membership a crime, but that such was not the state of the Communist Party presently. Its intent was the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.
He indicates that he loathes the tactics of Senator McCarthy and his followers, but that the way the country had gone about treating Communists in recent years was the reason for the power of the Senator as a "political fuehrer". Fewer innocent people would be caught up in his snare if party membership were outlawed. While that might drive the party underground, into organizations named other things, the connections had always been fairly easy to trace. It would make Communism as a hobby a lot less attractive to the average person than it once was and the ranks of Communists in America would be reduced.
A letter writer indicates that it was time that the people awakened to realize the situation regarding Senator McCarthy and the position in which he had placed the country in the eyes of the world. Senator McCarthy was slowly but surely using fear to destroy the ideals of the country and the citizens should not encourage or applaud his methods. She indicates that while there was reason to be alert to the threat of Communism, the people of the country should be in favor of the American example of fair play instead of the Communist method.
A letter writer from Pinehurst, as indicated in the above editorial, takes issue with the newspaper, starting with its position in "Lennon's Solution for M'Carthy Problem", in which it had said that there was a basic fallacy in the arguments of those who would have the President grapple with Senator McCarthy in the "mire and muck of McCarthy's gutter politics" because the President could not directly discipline a Senator. He suggests that the newspaper was being too easy on the President, as in its March 4 editorial, "The President Rose to the Occasion".
A letter writer from Pittsboro suggests that the Atlantic Charter was not an authentic document but rather the result of a "vividly imaginative mind in the service of the Office of War Information, who touched up a press release covering the meeting" of FDR and Prime Minister Churchill on August 15, 1941. After the election in 1944, details of the Tehran Conference had begun to leak out and President Roosevelt had been asked at a press conference on December 20, 1944 what had become of the Atlantic Charter, to which the President had replied that there never was such a document signed by him and Prime Minister Churchill of which he was aware. The writer thus concludes that the Atlantic Charter was a fake but that the truth about it had to be suppressed until long after the war so as not to compromise an ally. He indicates that the country had used the little nations and the doctrine of self-determination until it obstructed the country's dealings with Russia, and then the Atlantic Charter was removed from history.
While literally true regarding FDR's statements at the time, the obligations in the accord known as the "Atlantic Charter" were contained in the Declaration of Washington, signed by 26 nations on January 1, 1942. President Roosevelt was apparently having some fun with the press at the December 19, 1944 press conference, clarified further at the start of his December 22, 1944 press conference.
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