The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 23, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Republican Party leaders were putting increased pressure on Senator McCarthy this date to remove himself from participation on the Investigations subcommittee which would perform the investigation of the dispute between the Senator and the Army, and there was a hint that the President might speak on the matter the following day at his press conference, based on a statement by press secretary James Hagerty, who suggested that newsmen query the President on the subject. RNC chairman Leonard Hall had said in Philadelphia that he agreed with Senate leaders that the Senator ought step aside from the investigation, and when asked whether his opinion reflected the view of the President, he said it was "a very sound deduction". The subcommittee was meeting this date to try to develop a procedure for the inquiry and find a special counsel. William Jameson, president of the ABA, had rejected that position the previous day on grounds that the board of directors of the ABA believed it would not be appropriate for him to serve. Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota, to be the temporary chairman of the subcommittee during the investigation, told newsmen that the selection of someone else as counsel would take priority in this date's session.

A late bulletin indicates that the Investigations subcommittee had voted unanimously this date to allow television coverage of the public hearings on the dispute.

The Army had issued a new order on March 11, disclosed the previous day, requiring all commissioned and warrant officers to sign fresh loyalty certificates and to establish machinery to prevent delays in handling cases of officers who either refused to sign such documents or refused under the Fifth Amendment to answer the questions asked. The order was signed by Army chief of staff General Matthew Ridgway, and stated that Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens did not consider it consistent with national security to retain in military service anyone who refused to say whether they had been a member of the Communist Party or any subversive group. The order also barred promotion, decoration, commendation, reassignment, separation or ordering to active duty of any person who did not sign the required loyalty certificate, pending final action in the case. The certificate was similar to one already in use but had been updated with a list of organizations found by the Attorney General to be subversive. There was no doubt that the order had germinated out of the case, raised by Senator McCarthy, of the dentist in the Army Reserve who had been promoted from captain to major and then honorably discharged over the protest of the Senator, after the dentist had pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer questions about having ever been a member of a subversive organization, the Senator believing that he should have been court-martialed for being a "Fifth Amendment Communist". The dentist had subsequently said that the public statements by the Senator were "nonsense". Senator McCarthy said that the new order sounded like a fine idea but wanted to study it more before making further comment.

A Southern Senator who had asked not to be named had said that several of his Southern colleagues were planning to back the President's attempt to block further income tax cuts during the session, indicating that there was growing sentiment among Southern Democrats against the plan to raise the personal exemptions by $200, as proposed by Senator Walter George of Georgia. Senate Democratic leaders had been saying that they expected to lose no more than one or two votes within the party on that issue, not anticipating the support of Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia. Republican Senators were conceding that the outcome in the Senate on the issue would be close, but expected to hold most Republican votes against it. The Democratic proposal for a $100 increase in the exemptions had failed in the House by a vote of 210 to 204. The George proposal included a $400 increase of the exemptions in 1955 and thereafter. Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee the previous day that the latter increase would be "disastrous" for the Government's budget, leading to an estimated revenue loss of about eight billion dollars annually. It would likely be several weeks before the floor fight on the exemptions would occur, after several weeks of hearings before the Senate Finance Committee.

The previous night it was learned that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover early in the year had sent a letter to all police officers in the nation warning against possible attempts to smuggle atomic weapons into the country, with instructions on what they should be looking for, a letter reportedly sent with the President's approval, also containing descriptions of two atomic devices and advising against amateur attempts to dismantle any suspicious device—or ka-boom! Was it the red wire or the black one that we're supposed to remove first?

From Iwo Jima, it was reported by Associated Press correspondent George McArthur that the corpses of unknown thousands of Japanese soldiers were buried in honeycombed caves beneath the five-mile long island while U.S. Marines practiced on the battlefield above to defend Japan. An Air Force chaplain said that he had seen at least 5,000 bodies and a Marine engineer said that there might be as many as 10,000 bodies, that there had been 20,000 Japanese defending the island during 1945 when it fell to the U.S. and that only a handful had gotten off the island. The bodies were not covered with earth and rested where the men had died or the location to which they had been carried. The caves had been placed off-limits by the military, but many of the bodies had been uncovered accidentally by demolition squads exploding old ordnance or sealing off caves for maneuvers by the Marines. One Marine major reported sealing off two caves, one with 600 bodies and the other with 1,400, based on hastily made and probably exaggerated estimates, while demolition men reported finding some bodies in almost every large cave. The chaplain was confident that he was on the track of the last command post, contained in one of the caves, of Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, who had defended the island to the death and whose fate had never been conclusively proven, that documents detailing the full picture of the underground defenses might be discovered there. Many of the bodies rested where the soldiers had committed suicide and some had been placed in passageways in an effort to keep the Marines from determining the extent of Japanese casualties, while some of the wounded apparently had been left to die, some of the remains found in bunks carved into the side of the caves.

In Clio, Ala., worried depositors of a defunct bank waited anxiously for a scheduled audit of the books this date to find out how much money was remaining after the bank president's recent disappearance before turning himself in after he learned of accusations being made by depositors that he had embezzled funds of the bank. He was now in jail facing charges of embezzlement. He had promised to settle all accounts in full by the first of the week, and had turned over $5,000 to a three-man depositors committee the previous day. Nearly $87,000 had been accounted for out of the unofficially estimated $167,000 on deposit in the unchartered money exchange, with $81,800 having been found in an Atlanta bank where the president of the exchange deposited much of the company's non-operating capital. But the aunt of the wife of the president had filed garnishment proceedings in Atlanta against those latter funds.

In Los Angeles, singer Dick Haymes, accused by the INS of illegally re-entering the U.S. after a visit with Rita Hayworth in Honolulu the previous year, was ordered this date deported to his native Argentina. The order was appealable within 15 days to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, in which event the deportation would be stayed pending the disposition of the appeal. The INS director had told newsmen that a special inquiry officer had found that Mr. Haymes had become an alien ineligible to citizenship because of having filed an application for exemption as a neutral alien, which had been granted, and so was subject to exclusion by law when he returned to the continental U.S. from Hawaii the previous June. He was thus found deportable, and the special inquiry officer had found that he had also failed to furnish notification of his address during January, 1953, and had not established that the failure to do so was reasonably excusable or not willful.

In Weldon, N.C., a motel manager, who had been hunting a deer for 30 years, had killed his first one, a 150-pound buck, the prior Sunday night in the lobby of his motel, after the buck had jumped through the glass upper part of the front door, at which point one of the guests, from Charlotte, sought to grapple with it, before it broke away and headed for the door, when the manager, aroused from sleep by the noise, killed it with two shots from his .22 rifle.

Two photographs are shown in series on the page, one of Adlai Stevenson's sister, sitting in the log cabin in Southern Pines where she lived with her husband, and the other of the outside of the cabin, where Mr. Stevenson would take up temporary residence for ten days, during which time he would deliver a speech in Charlotte on April 2.

On the following day, in the weekly "Grocery News" column, Betty Boyer would impart "something" of the "real news" about tea.

On the editorial page, "Will You Hire an Ex-Prisoner?" indicates that the superintendent of a prison camp located just outside Charlotte had told News reporter Ann Sawyer of the repeat offenders who returned year after year to the camp, with 63 percent of them being recidivists. He said that he heard repeatedly the same refrain from them, that they told the truth to potential employers about being convicts and then no one would hire them.

It indicates that many of the prisoners had no particular training and spent their time on the roads during their incarceration instead of learning a trade, one reason they were not being hired after their release. Another reason was that many had records which indicated they could not be trusted. But there was also much truth in what they had communicated to the superintendent, as there were two strikes against them after their release when employers would not take a chance on hiring someone with a criminal record. Thus, they returned to criminality, sometimes refining their techniques after learning during incarceration from the inveterate lawbreakers on the road gangs.

It indicates that, fortunately, job prospects of released prisoners were now better because State Prisons director William Bailey had inaugurated a program emphasizing rehabilitation and because the Junior Chamber of Commerce was now helping released prisoners to find jobs across the state. It explains that program and finds it to be one which got at the root of recidivism. There were more former prisoners than suitable job openings for former prisoners, and the Jaycees needed the help of employers in the community who were willing to help repair damaged lives. It indicates that Bill Steele at WBT radio, the state Jaycee director of the project, was the person for employers to contact.

"A Loss for the Capital" tells of the Washington Post having purchased the Washington Times-Herald, previously owned by conservative publisher Col. Bertie McCormick of the Chicago Tribune. While the Times-Herald had not been a "newspaperman's newspaper", and did things which did not always abide the ethical standards which most newspapers in the country sought to uphold, it had energy, imagination and boldness and made interesting and exciting reading. It served an important function in Washington by bringing an editorial viewpoint to the nation's capital which differed sharply from that of the more liberal Post. As long as it was being published, there was diversity of opinion, an important part of the democratic process.

Like many other newspapers beset by increasing costs, it had begun to lose money and so Col. McCormick, who was aging and in poor health, decided to sell it. It indicates that if it had to be done, it was good that the Post had purchased it, as it was an excellent newspaper with a tradition of high ethics and a courageous and forceful news and editorial policy. It had been operated as a public trust by its owner, Eugene Meyer, and the newspaper is confident that in its columns and features, it would continue to present viewpoints which were in direct contradiction to its own opinions. (Don't tell the Vice-President or Senator McCarthy that; they might think you a Commie.)

"Farce Upcoming?" indicates that to millions of Americans who were thoroughly disgusted by Senator McCarthy's "shrill and strident accusations" against the Army, the suggestion by Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri that the Senator step aside as a member of the subcommittee investigating the charges in the dispute between the Senator and the Army made much sense. If the Senator, whose integrity and veracity were under scrutiny, was permitted to sit on the subcommittee and cross-examine witnesses on both sides, then vote on the final report, the whole proceeding could be turned into a "judicial farce".

"A Welcome to New Queens President" indicates that the trustees of Queens College in Charlotte had been fortunate to obtain the services of Dr. Edwin Ruthven Walker, dean of Rollins College in Florida, to succeed the late Dr. Charleton C. Jernigan as president. Dr. Walker's scholastic background, his wide experience at various colleges and universities, and his good record at Rollins suggested that he would be an excellent scholar and administrator. It finds that at Queens, he would find an institution which had made great progress in the previous decade and promised even greater progress into the future, that it was seeking to make itself an integral part of the community's educational and religious life. The College also had the strong and enthusiastic support of many of the best citizens of Charlotte, and the city would extend to Dr. Walker a cordial welcome when he arrived after completing his time at Rollins.

A piece from the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, titled "That Far-Away Look", indicates that an English housewife had reportedly been able to see things which normal eyes could not, such as the four moons of the planet Jupiter. It suggests that such acuity of vision could be applied in down-to-earth applications, such as examining the fine print in an ad for a mink coat for $49.95, but not including the excise tax, which would be an additional $9.95. Or, to examine the fine print of insurance policies which provided for exceptions, or that of installment contracts or the net weight of tomato cans. Such vision could also discern the "pat pending" on products, of which few mortals took note

It wonders whether the English housewife's extra perceptive vision extended into the nighttime, or whether she was blind as most, concluding: "For what profiteth super-vision on wintry nocturne if it cannot see when one's feet are out from under the cover?"

The Greensboro Daily News, in an editorial, questions whether experts in education were divorcing the state's schools from basic principles of learning. State Senator A. Pilston Godwin of Elizabeth City believed that they were, stating so in a Lions Club speech in that town. He said that he did not believe that the taxpayers of the state were getting their money's worth in education, that North Carolinians ought demand that the public school system re-establish fundamental standards of public instruction so that the children would be provided with at least the fundamental elements of a liberal arts high school education.

The piece indicates that his views were backed up by the series of articles the previous week in The News by Lucien Agniel, each of which had appeared on the editorial page, and summarizes Mr. Agniel's findings. It indicates that variations of the comments provided by UNC professors to Mr. Agniel, indicating that the strict requirements for curriculum to obtain teacher certification were driving many young people away from a career in teaching, with the result showing up in high school students being ill-prepared for college work, had been heard all across the state. Recently, it points out, Dr. B. B. Doughtery, "the venerable dean of Tar Heel education at Boone", had questioned the policy of grade promotions in public schools on the basis of pushing the students forward to get them out of the way.

The piece questions whether the quality of education had been sacrificed for quantity, whether teachers were too much concerned with the mechanics of how to teach instead of what to teach and whether the fundamentals of education had been sacrificed for the frills. It indicates that it did not have the answers to those questions but that the time had come in the state when someone or some agency ought to find out, the logical place for that to begin being among the teachers and educators themselves.

Drew Pearson indicates that it might take months or years for the public to realize what Senator McCarthy had done to the thinking of the country by diverting attention from the problem of Communism abroad. He suggests that when the average newsman covering Washington sat down to write a story each day, there was a tendency naturally to write about the most interesting news, which presently revolved around the "gymnastic gyrations" of Senator McCarthy. The same was true of most editors when they prepared their newspapers. Meanwhile, Communists were winning victories in other parts of the world which could place the country back in the status it had during World War II, when there were shortages of rubber for tires and tin which came from areas of Southeast Asia which had fallen into the hands of the Japanese.

He provides some of the events reported by diplomatic cables, which he regards as far more important than Senator McCarthy, but about which the public had been distracted from knowing. In Saigon, the U.S. Embassy had reported a wave of defeatism spreading through Indo-China, with important native leaders, previously on the fence, converting to the Communist side because they wanted to be with the winner in the war. In Washington, the Joint Chiefs were so worried about Indo-China that arms to be supplied the French for the war there had been given priority over supplies to U.S. troops remaining in Korea. In Paris, Foreign Minister Georges Bidault had conducted a series of meetings with U.S. Ambassador Douglas Dillon, in which the Foreign Minister had warned that the Government in France would fall unless it yielded in Indo-China and negotiated an armistice similar to that which had taken place in Korea the previous summer. If Premier Joseph Laniel were to fall, according to Ambassador Dillon, the next Premier would be Mendes-France, a neutralist, who would wreck the NATO defenses against Russia. That had become the most urgent problem facing Secretary of State Dulles.

Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Arthur Radford, was the most farsighted man in Washington regarding the problem of Indo-China, representing the position which Admiral William Leahy, chief military adviser to FDR, had occupied during the mid to latter Thirties, as early as 1936 having convinced President Roosevelt of the need for a naval blockade of Japan to stop aggression before it became firmly entrenched, after Japan had transgressed against China. President Roosevelt and Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles had accepted Admiral Leahy's idea, but it had been sabotaged by Secretary of State Cordell Hull and his more timid advisers, with assistance from certain European chanceries. Many diplomats now agreed that if the plan of Admiral Leahy had been implemented at that time, it would have proved such an object lesson to Hitler and Mussolini that World War II could have been averted.

Admiral Radford had similar ideas regarding the importance of stopping Communist aggression in Indo-China, believing that if the Communists took that strategic peninsula, the rice bowl for much of Asia, it would only be a matter of months before they would also take over the rubber and tin of the Malays, Indonesia, Burma and eventually India. Most observers, including Mr. Pearson, believed that the Admiral was correct in his assessment. It appeared that the long-range strategy of Russia was to combine the raw materials of Southwest Asia with the manpower of China and the industrial energy of Japan to enable rule of the Orient for years to come, possibly to challenge the Western world. Despite Admiral Radford being persuasive at the White House, he had not yet been able to convince the President, though having convinced many in the Pentagon of his position.

Mr. Pearson indicates that his column had been in error recently in stating that Admiral Radford had convinced the President to send airplane mechanics to Indo-China without the knowledge of Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. He clarifies that though the Admiral had sought to convince the President of the point, he had the approval of Secretary Wilson, as well for urging the President to increase the number of active airplane carriers.

He concludes that though Admiral Radford had produced better teamwork on the Joint Chiefs than most people had expected, he had been unable thus far to convince them of the wisdom of a naval blockade of Communist China or of the Indo-China coast.

Stewart Alsop, in his hometown of Avon, Conn., tells of the most stirring event in the history of the town having taken place the previous Thursday night, when 350 of its registered Republican voters met in the local school's modern auditorium to vote on an original resolution reaffirming support for the President and repudiating Senator McCarthy. Mr. Alsop's other brother, John, had helped to draft the resolution against Senator McCarthy, a resolution which had made Avon a center of national attention. The preamble to the resolution stated: "We deplore and vigorously denounce Senator McCarthy's methods and, what is more, we sincerely question his motives and objectives. We are convinced that his activities are placing the Eisenhower program in jeopardy and damaging the reputation of the Republican Party. We believe that Avon's Republicans are in agreement with us."

The town's leading supporter of Senator McCarthy, a former member of the State Assembly, as had been Mr. Alsop's brother, spoke against the resolution. He stated that the Army brass had been blind to the Communist menace and that only Senator McCarthy could prevent the country from being "sold down the river" to the Russians. But he also said that the Senator and the President were working "hand in hand", causing a roar of good-natured laughter to ripple through the audience, greeted by Mr. Alsop as a "sweet and sane" sound.

In the end, the Republican voters decided 350 to one in favor of the resolution. Mr. Alsop's brother believed it meant a lot, as the Senator once had strong support in Avon, support which had crumbled away almost overnight. It was a typical farming-manufacturing-commuting small town.

Mr. Alsop continually during the evening recalled his father who had presided over many Republican caucuses during his 35 years as Avon's first selectman. His father had been conservative, regarded the New Deal as an abomination and never saw good reason for labor unions. But he also had despised sham and cheap trickery, and lived under the national tradition of "free choice, friendliness, and simple, open-hearted tolerance". Before he had died the previous spring, he had come to despise Senator McCarthy and everything for which he stood, perhaps more bitterly because the Senator called himself a Republican. Mr. Alsop indicates that his father would have disliked the Klieg lights and the ruckus stirred up by the resolution, but believes that he would have been proud of Avon.

A letter writer from Hamlet thanks the newspaper for the series of articles the previous week on education in the state, but would like it to continue with further reporting on social promotion in the schools, which she believes had produced unprepared students for higher education or for the job market. She indicates that she was not opposed to social promotion as it was more desirable in some respects than the conventional method of non-promotion of slow learners. The resulting embarrassment of a child in being forced to repeat a grade was bad and research showed that the slow learner profited more from promotion than non-promotion. Some students were poor in one subject but excellent in others, and in recognition of that, the primary unit plan, which allowed the student to make continuous progress at the speed right for the individual, had been developed in the primary schools and, she suggests, could also work in the higher grades through high school. She indicates that what went on inside the school buildings was as important as producing the necessary facilities for education to alleviate overcrowding of classes.

A letter from the headmaster of the Charlotte Country Day School indicates that he had read with great interest the series on education and believed Mr. Agniel to have done an excellent job of stating the problems and defining the views of the progressive versus the liberal arts type of education. He indicates that Charlotte Country Day was an independent educational institution subject only to the control of its trustees, drawn from the parents. It was not subject to teacher certification and other similar controls. He says that the school had elected to follow the liberal arts tradition in its elementary and junior high school program, and had found little relation between teacher certification and success as a teacher, even though the school had many excellent teachers who were certified. He indicates that had they been hampered by the certification requirements, they would have been denied the services of a number of excellent teachers presently on staff. He says that they believed there was no substitute for the basic knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic, as well of history and geography, that all higher learning was dependent on mastery of those basic skills and facts, and that some of their students had gained admission to some of the better secondary schools in the country. They also believed that a skillful teacher could develop interest in almost any subject and had found that competition in school life was a stimulating influence which encouraged the less able as well as the exceptional students to give their best. Their upper school was divided into two teams which competed on the basis of scholarship, athletics and citizenship. He concludes that they believed that they could back with experience many of the views of the liberal arts advocates represented in the series presented in the newspaper the previous week.

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