The Charlotte News

Friday, March 19, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Charleston, S.C., Army Secretary Robert Stevens, delivering a speech prepared for the inauguration of retired General Mark Clark as the new president of The Citadel, said that it was "deplorable that the Army … and especially its senior officers should too often be the target for irresponsible criticism." The Secretary did not mention Senator McCarthy during the speech, but said that he was determined to defend the Army and its prestige and integrity. He said that any action which fostered a conclusion that the military service was held in low esteem by the citizens struck at the "tap roots of our security". He said that the President's opinion that military leaders should not be thrust into the political arena to become involved in partisan politics had too often been "forgotten or flouted". Secretary Stevens also said that General Clark would bring to the presidency of The Citadel the "high integrity and courage" which had been so evident throughout his "long and brilliant military career". He also praised The Citadel, its students and graduates, as contributing historically to the military during the country's wars, starting with the Civil War.

General Clark had become the 11th president of the 111-year old institution, succeeding four-star General Charles Summerall, who had resigned the previous June. In addition to Secretary Stevens, South Carolina Governor James Byrnes, former Secretary of State under President Truman, was on hand for the ceremony. General Clark had commanded the U.S. Fifth Army during World War II, active in the North African campaign and then the Italian campaign. He had been supreme commander also of the Far Eastern forces, succeeding General Matthew Ridgway in that role in mid-1952 and continuing through the Korean Armistice of the previous July before retiring from the Army in late October.

The U.S. proposed to Russia this date "a concrete plan to further the peaceful development and use of atomic energy", a proposal provided by Secretary of State Dulles to Soviet Ambassador Georgi Zarubin. A State Department announcement said that Russia had provided to the U.S. certain proposals on atomic problems and that they were under study. The plan of the U.S. was based on the President's statements to the U.N. the previous December 8 regarding creation of an international pool of atomic energy technology to be under supervision of a worldwide agency.

Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri pledged this date that the public would get all of the facts which were censored from an Army report which had been critical of Senator McCarthy and his staff for allegedly seeking special treatment for a former aide of Senator McCarthy's Investigations subcommittee, Private G. David Schine, a friend of the subcommittee's chief counsel, Roy Cohn, who allegedly had threatened the Army in order to obtain special favors for the Private. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson and other Pentagon officials had promised the Senate Armed Services Committee the previous day that the missing portions of the report, together with stenographers' transcripts of telephone conversations involved in the dispute, would be made available to any Congressional committees which wanted them. Secretary Wilson said that the Department was not going to try to hide anything. Other Pentagon officials had said that some profanity was taken out of the report. Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that if the Investigations subcommittee did not bring out all of the facts on the matter eventually, his Committee might have to step into the matter, though he hoped it would remain out of it. Senator Saltonstall called on the Army and Air Force to provide a detailed list of how many Communists, subversives, loyalty cases and security risks they had handled in recent years, saying that he was satisfied there was only an "infinitesimal" amount of subversion in the armed forces. Senator Symington was a member of both the Armed Services Committee and the Investigations subcommittee.

The House voted the previous day to defeat a Democratic proposal to increase the personal tax exemptions from $600 to $700, as further reported in an editorial below, and had also passed the President's tax revision bill. A Democratic Congressman indicated that the result of the move would enable the Democrats to pick up between 45 and 60 seats in the midterm elections in November, while a Republican Congressman predicted a gain for the Republicans of 25 seats as a result of the tax bill. The tax bill would now go to the Senate.

In Clio, Ala., a local banker said it was "a damn lie" that he had disappeared with between $80,000 and $100,000 of depositors' funds, stating that "every penny" would be returned to the bank and that he had told people that the bank would close down. The banker, a Sunday school teacher and former mayor of the town, said that he had gone to Atlanta with his wife to look into a garnishment suit brought against funds of the exchange in another bank in Atlanta, a suit filed by an aunt by marriage, who reportedly had $75,000 in deposits in the local bank in Clio. The funds in the Atlanta bank totaled $81,800, but depositors with the Clio bank had signed claims for $167,000. The banker said that he had driven home from Virginia after being hurt by an article regarding his supposed disappearance, which had appeared in a Roanoke newspaper, and he turned himself in to a deputy sheriff at a nearby town and was released on a bond signed by his father, who had offered his life savings of $25,000 the previous week to relieve penniless depositors of his son's bank. The banker was accused in three warrants of embezzling about $1,800 from two depositors. His wife, crying over the phone to a reporter, said that the charges against her husband were "lies" and that it would all be cleared up, that he had not stolen anything. About 150 families of the community had been affected, and merchants had no money with which to restock their shelves once emptied. Farmers could not buy seed for the spring planting.

A late bulletin from Portland, Ore., reports that a seemingly drunk man had shot and wounded an instructor in an attempted kidnaping at the exclusive Catlin-Hillside school for girls this date.

In Los Angeles, an earthquake was felt by many residents in the early morning hours, but apparently caused little damage.

In West Palm Beach, Fla., an heir to the Dodge fortune, worth millions of dollars, had been born the previous day to Horace Dodge III and his estranged wife, former actress Gregg Sherwood. The child was born in a hospital to which Ms. Sherwood had fled a month earlier after quarreling with her husband, saying that the quarrels had endangered her health.

In London, England, a woman had sued a bus company for damages for her disfigurement resulting from a collision, plus an additional sum for loss of the consortium of her husband, who, she said, had left her, saying that he could not stand the sight of her scarred face. The judge awarded her the equivalent of $4,354 for her disfigurement but allowed nothing for the loss of her husband, commenting that the loss of "such a man is not a very serious matter except from the point of view of pride."

In Charlotte, a citizens committee would call on the Board of Education Monday morning to protest inadequate school facilities in the eastern sectors of the city. The previous night, 83 parents had gathered at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church parish house to discuss the problem, with the prospect coming in September that hundreds of babies born during World War II, now rising seventh graders, would enter the junior high school system of the community. The parents, according to a spokeswoman, wanted to know what the Board intended to do with the glut of seventh graders in September, what assurances the parents would have that construction of a new junior high to serve the eastern sections, which had been deferred since 1953 in construction until 1955, would not again be deferred, and, what could be done about funding for another senior high school. It sounds like the mobile home dealers in the community and some carpenters to convert the mobile homes for classroom use might receive some trade from the School Board until the new school could be built—at least based on our experience in another community, in both the second grade all year, and in the seventh grade, insofar as mathematics, both of which experiences gave us a taste of trailer life and the narrowness of perspective which it affords, and the darkness from the lack of a broad bank of windows as the regular classrooms had, substituted by pitiful little skylights in the trailers, though one can become accustomed to anything, we suppose.

Also in Charlotte, when a local woman saw a picture in the Tuesday edition of The News of a Stockton, Calif., ten-week old infant taking its first steps, she decided that her own baby, who had begun walking at eight weeks, must also have unusual talents. She said that she did not know whether or not it would be a good thing that he was walking at such an early age. He had begun to show his unusual talent for walking even before eight weeks, stiffening his legs and trying to pull himself up when he was sitting in someone's lap.

In Frederick, Md., a retiring farmer from his completely unmechanized farm had sold an 11-year old horse, one of six used to power his farm equipment, for $175 at an auction taking place on his farm. It was $10 more than the price of a six-year old automobile advertised in a Baltimore newspaper the previous day. But what type of automobile was it, how many miles did it have showing on the odometer, and in what condition was it mechanically and cosmetically? The horse probably provided much more reliable transportation.

On the editorial page, "One Tax Cut Down, One To Go" indicates that the full force of the President's influence, when he elected to use it, had been demonstrated in the 210 to 204 House vote the previous day, defeating the Democratic proposal to increase the personal tax exemptions from $600 to $700. Only seven Republicans had voted with the Democrats, while 201 Republicans stuck by the President's plan not to increase taxes other than through the proposal by the Administration to increase the exemptions for income derived from stock dividends. Nine Democrats had also voted with the Republicans.

Another proposal, sponsored by Senator Walter George of Georgia, remained pending in the Senate to raise the personal exemptions to $800, rather than the $100 which had been proposed in the House and defeated.

The newspaper agrees with Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, with whom it usually disagreed, when he indicated his opposition to any tax-cutting measure during the session without first engaging in reduction of expenditures by the Government to produce a balanced budget. The President's tax proposal regarding dividends would reduce Government revenue by about 1.9 billion dollars and the Republican-sponsored cut in excise taxes would eliminate another billion dollars in revenue. The Democratic proposal which had been defeated would have reduced Government revenue by about 2.5 billion dollars. The piece believes that Senator Byrd had touched on the real issue, fiscal irresponsibility in proposing tax cuts before reducing expenditures, a matter which the Republicans had pledged to change in their 1952 campaign rhetoric and platform.

It indicates that regardless of the fate of the George proposal in the Senate, the issue would be prominent in the November midterm elections, where the Democrats would have a good political argument that the Republicans favored business at the expense of individuals in the competing tax measures, and the Democrats could be expected to use that argument.

"Democrats Turn up a Candidate" finds that City Recorder J. C. Sedberry, who had declared for the 10th District Congressional race as a Democrat, would be a good candidate to contest Republican Congressman Charles R. Jonas in the general campaign in the fall, as Judge Sedberry was regarded as having ability and integrity, and was favored among potential Democrats by the Democratic leadership within the state. It indicates that it was likely that Charlotte attorney Marvin Ritch, who had also recently declared in the race, would drop out, as he had only entered the race because no other Democrat had thus far declared.

But it makes it harder to come up with a catchy campaign slogan than with Messrs. Roper and Ritch, versus Mr. Jonas.

"Lithium Expansion Holds Great Promise" indicates that the Foote Mineral Co. and the Lithium Corporation of America had big plans to develop vast spodumene ore deposits contained in Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland Counties in North Carolina to produce lithium products. Foote had begun construction of an expansion of its Kings Mountain plant to mine the deposits, which would then be shipped to Virginia for refining. Lithium Corporation had purchased 2,000 acres of land for mining, plus a 340-acre tract for a large refining plant, at a total cost of seven million dollars for the project.

The most recent U.S. Geological Survey of 1938 had called the deposits of spodumene in North Carolina "the largest known in North America". The Wall Street Journal said that the ore reserve held "the largest known lithium deposits in the Western Hemisphere." Lithium Corporation's holdings had been estimated at between five and six million tons of ore, from which 750 tons daily could be refined.

The market for lithium products had developed more rapidly than anticipated since the end of World War II, with lithium compounds being used in such products as lubricating greases, ceramics, welding rod coatings, alkaline-type electrical storage batteries, air batteries, air conditioning materials, and in atomic energy development.

The piece doubts that many North Carolinians, including residents of the three counties, knew of the untapped wealth in that section of the state, long dependent on textiles as the major source of income. The ore deposits would enable a better industrial balance in the future, a pattern which it thinks wise for the entire state.

A piece from the Milwaukee Journal, titled "Real Men in Those Days", indicates that there was always a hearkening back to earlier times in suggesting that men were tougher than current youngsters.

Irwin Edman, a writer and philosopher, had touched on the theme in the current issue of American Scholar, the Phi Beta Kappa magazine, recalling a story during a disturbance in Dartmoor prison in England a few years earlier, in which the chairman of the royal commission had gone to the prison to see what was wrong and interviewed an old man who had been there for many years, asking him what had caused the trouble, to which the old man had replied: "Well, sir, I have been a member of this prison, man and boy, for 40 years. I think, sir, I may properly claim to call this place my home. Now some says one thing, sir, and some says another. But, it's my belief, sir, we're not getting the stamp of man in 'ere we used to."

Lucien Agniel of The News provides the last in the five-part series during the week regarding the teacher shortage in the state, especially at the elementary school level, ascribed by many to the rigid standards set by the state for certification of teachers, causing many to avoid the profession in favor of a more expansive and varied liberal arts curriculum in college. Mr. Agniel summarizes his findings, with the professors tending to favor taking the matter of certification out of the hands of the State professional educators and leaving it to the colleges and the students to determine the proper curriculum for teachers, with the professors also contending that the strict certification requirements and the consequent shortage of teachers was resulting in lesser prepared students entering college, some of whom could not even read, and many of whom, as Mr. Agniel had pointed out in his initial piece on Monday, needing as freshmen remedial reading, science, and mathematics, before undertaking college-level courses at UNC.

Mr. Agniel provides several competing quotes from different points of view on the matter, regarding the potential for solution, culled from Paul Woodring's Let's Talk Sense about Our Schools, divided by Dr. Woodring between the views of "Progressive Educators" and those of the "Book", loosely coinciding with the points of view of the academic deans. Mr. Agniel concludes that the "cards are on the table."

Whether he subliminally meant that somewhat ominously cryptic coda to have some reference to the Queen of Spades Garden Club of Charlotte, the picture of whose newly installed officers had appeared on the page of the newspaper opposite Betty Boyer's "Grocery News" column two days earlier, is at least subject to some debate, as is why the ladies dubbed their Garden Club "Queen of Spades", seemingly more apropos, at least sardonically so, to a Hearts Club, because in the game of hearts, one does not wish to acquire that Queen of spades, which has an unruly reputation and a less than complimentary nickname.

The photograph, incidentally, of the two students engaged in "art studies" at an elementary school in Charlotte, does not really appear to show them "happily engaged" in their artistic endeavors, as indicated by the caption. Rather, the little girl is looking at the little boy as if he either just dabbed some paint on her picture or in some other way criticized it as being tantamount to an abstraction without proper and adequate respect for the viewer's viewpoint to enable ready appreciation and understanding thereof, a kind of stab similar to that to which we linked the previous Monday, from an October, 1953 discussion in which Dylan Thomas found the "horizontal and vertical" references of experimental film producer Maya Deren difficult to follow and fathom, and hoped that the audience had more easily understood her abstractions, while she quizzically, under her breath, posed to another member of the discussion whether it meant that he could not understand her. Or, perhaps the News photographer, Jeep Hunter, simply told the little girl to look at the little boy as if she were curious about what he was painting, and she somewhat fumbled her acting assignment, appearing instead a little miffed or at least puzzled by the boy. But that is only our subjective interpretation of the photograph. You may have another. The only objective point of view, if there be one to be had, would come from having known the circumstances of the original photograph and, perhaps the dynamic, should there have been one, between the two students, whether friends, mere acquaintances by dint of classroom association or not given to affinity at all, rather inimical in their basic attitudinal relationship, to which, in consequence, we may not ascribe, with any authority, any projected subjective point of view, without simultaneous recognition that it is our own not very well informed guesswork in play. Both students may simply have been self-consciously annoyed a little by the presence of outside adults in their classroom, or simply tired and unable to respond to outside stimuli. In any event, the two students, should they still be living, would now be in their mid to late seventies and so, presumably, they would have better insight to the puzzle presented by the photograph.

Drew Pearson indicates that the White House was relying on Deputy Attorney General William Rogers to provide advice on Senator McCarthy in the upcoming investigation of the Senator's dispute with the Army, to be conducted by Senator McCarthy's Investigations subcommittee, though with Senator McCarthy stepping aside temporarily as chairman in favor of Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota. Mr. Rogers had gotten to know Senator McCarthy when the latter was a junior member of the Senate Investigations Committee in 1949 and Mr. Rogers was its counsel. At that time, the Democrats were in the majority but had retained Mr. Rogers even though he was considered a Dewey Republican and the President had just defeated Governor Dewey in the 1948 election. During the 1952 campaign, Mr. Rogers had become a close friend of Senator Nixon—subsequently to become a key adviser during the latter's 1960 campaign for the presidency—, had traveled with him and had gradually become the President's principal executive in charge of problems with Senator McCarthy. Mr. Rogers had traveled with Vice-President Nixon the previous Christmas when the latter sought to persuade Senator McCarthy to lay off the Eisenhower Administration and attack only scandals hanging over from the Truman Administration, an agreement having been reached with the Senator to that effect, albeit one which lasted only for a few weeks.

Other than House Ways & Means Committee chairman Dan Reed, no one knew who the big business experts had been who had worked on the 875-page pending tax bill. It was not unusual to have such experts working on tax bills in the past, as their advice, plus that of labor and consumer groups, had always been welcomed, but that advice had been provided in public session so that everybody was aware of it, not behind closed doors as in this instance. It had been discovered, reports Mr. Pearson, that the Jones-Laughlin Steel Co. and Westinghouse had representatives on the committee which had written the corporate reorganization sections of the tax bill, and that representatives of Bethlehem Steel and General Foods had helped write the pensions section which reinstated the provisions from 12 years earlier under which top executives of a corporation could obtain tax-free funds set aside for their pensions, a provision from which lower level employees could not benefit. Members of Congress had also learned that representatives of Standard Oil of New Jersey had helped to draft the section on consolidated tax returns.

The family of Roy Cohn was not unacquainted with "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", as his grandfather had been mixed up in the Bank of the United States scandal. When Mr. Cohn had joined the New York National Guard, a friend had asked him why, and he responded that it was to avoid the draft, and when asked by the friend why he thought that would enable him to avoid the draft, he said that it was because he would be assigned to the Selective Service office of the National Guard. He had taken his exam to enter the National Guard in 1950, the same year that the Korean War had begun in late June. While working in Washington, he had been able to obtain a special dispensation from the D.C. Guard to drill with them, a dispensation almost never given in the past.

Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott had been surprised to read in Mr. Pearson's column recently of the closed-door Congressional remonstration given him by Congressmen Harry Sheppard of California and George Mahon of Texas. Congressman Clair Engle of California, an Air Force reservist, had been prepared to patch up differences between the Congress and the temperamental Secretary Talbott, when the Congressman received a phone call from the Pentagon that things were still too disputatious to effect rapprochement.

Senator John Butler of Maryland adhered strongly to his convictions when he had them, and he had felt very strongly in favor of the defeated Bricker amendment, which would have amended the Constitution's provision on the treaty-making power and ratification to limit the President in making executive agreements. He resented the White House lobbying of Senators to try to persuade them to change their votes on the amendment, and so when the same White House representatives sought to get him to change his vote on tying Alaskan statehood to that of Hawaii, he refused to budge, continuing to support statehood only for both territories at the same time.

Two members of the Cabinet, Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson and Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks, were arguing over which Department should take over the South American rubber program. Secretary Weeks believed that the Agriculture Department should take over the program from the foreign aid administration, headed by Harold Stassen, which was going out of business, but Secretary Benson insisted that it should go to the Commerce Department, the reason for the dispute being that the Department which got the program would have to allocate funds for it from its budget.

Doris Fleeson indicates that Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, a country lawyer in a long tradition of such able country lawyers, as former Representative, Senator and Secretary of State Cordell Hull under FDR and former Senator and now Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, would be the lead Democratic minority member of the Senate Investigations subcommittee conducting the examination of witnesses before the subcommittee regarding the dispute between Senator McCarthy and the Army, which she again recaps.

Senator McClellan had been a successful prosecutor in Arkansas prior to becoming a Senator and had a reputation for getting at inconvenient facts. He had only been 17 years old when he passed the bar examination, requiring that his friends in the Legislature pass a special bill to enable him to be licensed at such a young age, normally limited to those 21 or over. He had studied law in his father's law office while attending substandard schools in his small hometown.

The Democratic leaders believed that Senator McClellan's background would serve the party well if the hearings encountered stormy weather, as they were likely to do, as he hailed from a state which geographically and politically made him essentially invulnerable to the type of attack normally undertaken by Senator McCarthy toward anyone who criticized or conflicted with him. It was an open secret in Congress that the reason why many Senators had shied away from having the matter conducted by the Armed Services Committee was that its chairman was Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, where there were many supporters of Senator McCarthy.

The other two Democratic members of the subcommittee were Senators Henry Jackson of Washington and Stuart Symington of Missouri, and they shared the general belief that the experience of Senator McClellan would be good to follow in the struggle ahead.

James Marlow, also addressing the coming hearings in the dispute between Senator McCarthy and the Army, compares it to the 1951 Senate investigation by the Armed Services Committee, then chaired by Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, into the dismissal by President Truman of General MacArthur as supreme commander of the Far Eastern forces, and recalling him home. That latter investigation had been praised for proceeding with dignity, affording all witnesses the chance to speak their piece fully and fairly and, with only a few exceptions, the Senators remaining calm in the process. Senator Saltonstall, he indicates, had shown no desire to conduct the present hearings from his stance as chairman of the same Committee.

Senator McCarthy had insisted that his own Investigations subcommittee conduct the investigation, but agreed that he would step aside temporarily as chairman in favor of Senator Mundt. The subcommittee, because Senator McCarthy was normally its chairman, knew that it would be scrutinized for fairness during the hearings and so it was likely that Senator Mundt and the other members would make a special effort to conduct the investigation with dignity.

Mr. Marlow suggests that there would be a profound difference between the McCarthy-Army hearing and that given General MacArthur three years earlier, in that the latter had no opportunity to cross-examine witnesses who disagreed with him, whereas Senator McCarthy, who would also testify under oath as had General MacArthur, would allow the Army's counsel to cross-examine him. Because he was a member of the subcommittee, he would also be able to cross-examine the Army witnesses appearing against him, and, observes Mr. Marlow, he could be a tough questioner. The Army representatives, however, had also shown toughness in forcing the Senator into a showdown regarding the case of Private G. David Schine, and the alleged favors sought by Senator McCarthy and the subcommittee's chief counsel, Roy Cohn, on behalf of Private Schine, favors which the Senator and Mr. Cohn denied trying to obtain through any threats to the Army, as the Army report had alleged. They instead claimed that the Army, boiling down to Army Secretary Robert Stevens and the assistant Army counsel, John Adams, had sought to blackmail the Senator into giving up his investigation into alleged Communism in the Army.

The Senator claimed that the real issue was not the alleged favors sought for Private Schine but rather Communists in the Army, and Mr. Marlow suggests that if he tried to make that the issue in the hearings, they might not be as orderly as the hearing provided General MacArthur in 1951.

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