The Charlotte News

Friday, March 5, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President this date, in a report to Congress required under the Mutual Assistance Control Act of 1951, ordered continuation of U.S. aid to Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom, despite shipments of strategic materials by each of those countries to Iron Curtain nations. He said that he was doing so because cessation of the aid would be detrimental to the security of the U.S. He sent along a letter from Harold Stassen, head of the Foreign Operations Administration which was responsible for foreign aid, which said that the shipments for the most part resulted from commitments which had been made prior to the effective date of the embargo provisions of the 1951 Act and that commitments made since that time had been deemed beneficial to Western nations and to the Free World because of the two-way trade made possible by strategic shipments. Exceptions to the prohibition of aid to any country knowingly permitting the shipment of items listed for embargo under the Act were allowed where the President found that a cessation of aid would be detrimental to the security of the U.S., though that exception was not applicable to the shipment of such items as arms, ammunition, implements of war and atomic energy materials.

In Caracas, Venezuela, at the Inter-American Conference, Guatemala accused the U.S. of seeking to intervene in its domestic affairs by asking the conference to discuss Communist penetration in the Western Hemisphere. Guatemala's foreign minister said he considered the placing of the issue on the agenda as a maneuver against Guatemala which had been "maliciously and unjustly accused of being Communist". U.S. officials had accused Guatemala of following the Communist line and had charged that Communists occupied many positions of power in the country. Guatemala's foreign minister said that the nation, however, would defend democratic principles and that it was being attacked by those who shouted Communism whenever a Latin American republic sought to assert its nationalism and economic independence and attempted to put into effect liberal social reforms.

In Korea, a mortar shell exploded when it was dropped accidentally during a training lecture, killing six U.S. Marines and wounding 30 others the previous day. The instructor had been showing how an American-made fuse could be adapted to an enemy missile, and apparently thinking it harmless, dropped it to the floor where it exploded in a quonset hut at the first Marine Division's mine warfare school just behind the former Korean front. The blast had ripped out doors and windows and hurled steel fragments through the walls, killing the instructor. Four of the wounded were in critical condition and four others were in serious condition.

In San Antonio, Tex., the Army this date ordered a corporal held on charges of giving aid and comfort to the enemy while he had been a prisoner of war in Korea, and Fourth Army headquarters said that a pretrial investigation would soon begin to determine whether the evidence justified trial by court-martial. The corporal had been one of the American prisoners in Korea who chose to remain with the Communists but then changed his mind later. Another former prisoner in the same category had been ordered to trial by court-martial on February 18 on charges that he had provided the Communists with information about fellow prisoners to obtain better treatment. The corporal was presently in custody and said that he did not believe he would be ordered before a court-martial and that he desired a discharge when his enlistment was up within a few days.

In New York, wildcat strikers of the independent International Longshoremen's Association tied up the port this date, defying a Federal court order in a battle for control of the waterfront. The rival AFL union bearing the same name also refused to report to work at the struck piers, apparently to avoid confrontation. The two unions were engaged in a fight for control of the longshoremen. The NLRB had obtained a court order the previous day restraining the ILA from striking, causing anger among the longshoremen.

In Nice, France, a search was ongoing for a U.S. Air Force C-47 transport plane which was missing in the area of the Ligurian Sea and the French Alps, with 20 men aboard, on a flight from Rome to Bitburg, Germany. Several residents of the region had told of hearing a noise of a big plane the previous afternoon and French ski troops based in the area moved out in patrols of 20 to 30 men each to look for clues.

In Washington, the Civil Aeronautics Board suspended this date entertainer Arthur Godfrey's pilot certificate for six months as a penalty for careless flying at the Teterboro, N.J., airport on January 7, when Mr. Godfrey had allegedly buzzed the tower for being denied authorization to take off from the runway of his choice, though he denied that had been his intent. The Civil Aeronautics Administration had only sought a suspension for at least 30 days.

He needs to start taking Geritol.

Republican leaders from every district of the state would arrive in Charlotte this night and early the following day for the Republican state convention at the Armory-Auditorium, starting the following morning. Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, a personal friend of the President, would deliver the keynote address the following day. A three-way fight was anticipated for the state chairmanship of the Republican Party.

Lucien Agniel of The News tells of former Governor Kerr Scott bringing his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Alton Lennon to Charlotte this date. When the dairy farmer was asked if he were planning to give away any more bull calves, he said that the cows were doing their part. The newspaper had reported the previous day that 36 persons had walked 21 miles in six hours to match a previous performance by the former Governor, thereby qualifying for a free bull calf from the Scott farm. He said that the campaign had become slowed up in Bostic, where there had been a recent bank robbery, as he was tied up at a roadblock and was arrested four times before he could get out, as he had told them that he needed to rob a bank but had not pulled that job in Bostic.

In the text of an address prepared for delivery during the afternoon, the former Governor took aim at secrecy in government, abuses of the Congressional investigative function and efforts by Congress to usurp the powers of the executive branch. The speech called for exercise of the power of impeachment when cases were found where the executive branch had failed to carry out its duty in bringing to justice those who would destroy the country. (Undoubtedly, therefore, he would be most encouraged by the recent action of the House, following the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol, encouraged by Trump, but would be sorely displeased by the Republicans in the Senate, save the courageous seven of their number, who decided, after all, it was no big deal and let it slide, or at least sidestepped it on the rationale that the House cannot impeach a former Federal officeholder, despite plentiful precedent in lower Federal offices.) Governor Scott said that the division of powers was the greatest single safeguard the people had against tyranny, corruption and the law of the jungle, but that the safeguard was daily being polluted and weakened by "unwise, unwarranted and unfair assaults upon it by certain committees in the legislative branch". He quoted George Washington regarding the danger of one branch of government taking authority from another and said that the "inflamed, growing cancer … is gnawing rapidly at the core of the great time-tested principles that have made the United States the strongest nation" mankind had ever known. He warned that if that "disease" went unchecked, the nation would crumble into "a chaos of fear, suspicion and distrust." He cited the prior investigation of Senator Clyde Hoey into the five-percenter influence peddlers as a good example of restraint in conducting Congressional investigations.

Mr. Scott is pictured with his publicist, future Governor Terry Sanford, who would be elected in 1960, and then would subsequently serve for 15 years as president of Duke University, running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidency in 1972 and 1976, and becoming a Senator for one term in 1987.

As pictured, in Charlotte the previous afternoon, a driver of a Ford Fairlane had to veer into a mailbox to avoid being hit by a truck driver who ran a red light and was cited for same. The car looks fairly new, so it was a shame.

On the editorial page, "Lennon Move Hard To Understand" indicates that Senator Alton Lennon of North Carolina had presented a resolution asking for reconsideration of the defeated substitute amendment sponsored by Senator Walter George of Georgia regarding the treaty-making power, finding it hard to understand. It indicates that the George amendment, while milder than that presented by Senator John W. Bricker, was nevertheless unnecessary, aimed at imaginary abuse of the treaty-making process, and without foundation in fact or legal logic. The Senate was already far behind in its work because of consideration of the Bricker amendment, wasting nearly a month of its time in pointless debate.

It finds that if the Senate was genuinely concerned about abuse of constitutional processes, it ought restrain Senator Joseph McCarthy.

It indicates that such a move by Senator Lennon would not endear him to the people of the state, who tended not to be isolationist and who had shown no great enthusiasm for the Bricker amendment or the George substitute. It suggests that if the Senator were acting on his own initiative, he should reconsider the matter, and that if he was being used by someone else, he should keep his guard up.

"NLRB Is Place for Labor Cases" indicates that the House Labor Committee had recommended that the handling of unfair labor practice charges be removed from the NLRB and given to the Federal courts. It indicates that while it operated under the Wagner Act of 1935, the NLRB by law had been required to regard only charges of unfair practices brought against employers, not unions. But in 1947, Taft-Hartley, passed over President Truman's veto, changed the law to make both employers and employees liable for unfair labor practices. With the Eisenhower Administration, the composition of the NLRB had changed from its tendency during the Democratic Administrations to take a pro-labor position, some of those decisions now having been reversed during the new Administration to advantage management. With the confirmation of Albert Beeson as a member of the Board, the scales might be tipped even further toward management.

It finds that foisting on the Federal courts the rather complicated procedures followed by the NLRB would needlessly clog the courts and that Federal judges would not be expected to have the same expertise in labor law as those who were members of the Board. Costs also would be a factor, preventing employees from being assured a fair hearing, as the individual would have to bring his or her own case or have the U.S. Attorney agree to file it. It thus finds that the better approach would be to streamline NLRB procedures to reduce the backlog of cases.

"A Factor for Democrats To Weigh" indicates that on the prior Monday afternoon, the editors had put together an editorial on the candidacy of Lincolnton lawyer Sheldon Roper, who had declared for the Democratic nomination for the 10th Congressional District. But it had to be rewritten by the following morning after Charlotte's Marvin Ritch also decided to run. Then, it had to be rewritten again after Mr. Roper decided he did not wish to run after all. (Probably heard through the grapevine about the proposed campaign slogan...)

It finds it suggestive of the fact that Mecklenburg Democrats needed to continue their efforts to find a strong candidate from the county to run. On the November ballot would be a proposed State constitutional amendment which would limit all counties to one State Senator, perpetuating the control which the small counties held over the legislature. The amendment had been passed by the General Assembly in 1953, after it had refused to redistrict the State Senate in 1951 and again in 1953 based on population. Under redistricting, Mecklenburg would be entitled to two State Senators, but if the amendment were passed, it would never have more than one. David Clark, who had decided not to run for Congress, had represented Lincoln County in the Legislature, and though from one of the small counties, had voted against the amendment as a matter of principle, standing by the Mecklenburg delegation.

It indicates that its interest was to assure the people of the district that there would be a spirited battle between two strong candidates from each of the major parties.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Truant Officers", indicates that modern, progressive education had created new problems, about which truant officers were being sent to City College of New York to learn. They were now called attendance officers and supervisors and their problems were very different from those of earlier days when all they had to do was to go down to the millpond and hustle everyone back up to the school on the hill. Now, they had to learn how to handle parents, as well as children, had to take courses on developmental psychology, psychological appraisal of personality, intelligence, aptitude and learning, play technique, use of community resources, and discipline and behavioral problems. They were being taught that when a child was truant, there was a deep-seated reason for it and that it was likely that a psychiatrist could uncover it.

It suggests that there were probably also truant officers ready to see that the truant officers went to school, and that, judging by past experience with truant officers, it probably served them right.

Drew Pearson tells of having ridden through the streets of San Juan with Puerto Rican Governor Luis Munoz-Marin some years earlier and realizing that the reason he kept the windows closed, despite it being sweltering weather, was that they were bulletproofed. It had been only a short time later that the two Puerto Rican fanatics had attacked Blair House, on November 1, 1950, where President Truman and the First Family were staying while the White House was being renovated. On the same day, a small band of Puerto Rican nationalists had stormed the front entrance of the residence of Governor Munoz-Marin and tried to kill him as well. Probably no one had done more for Puerto Ricans than the Governor, just as probably no one had done more for Puerto Rico than the previous session of Congress, which had passed the bill making Puerto Rico a Commonwealth. He was the first Governor ever elected by the Puerto Rican people. Educated at Georgetown, he spent most of his youth in Washington, where his father had been the Puerto Rican delegate to Congress. He was loved by the great mass of the people of the island. Prior to his election, Puerto Rican governors had been appointed by the President and the governorship was regarded as a prime political plumb for party faithful. For years, Puerto Ricans had every reason to complain, as they had no vote, no representation in Congress and no governmental administration except that handed them by the RNC or DNC, depending on which party was in power. Governor Munoz-Marin changed all of that, and had he not done so, then the nationalists might have had an excuse for their complaints. But instead, the island was given as much independence as the people wanted. The balloting for the Puerto Rican Commonwealth had taken place on March 3, 1953, and on that day, all Puerto Ricans went to the polls, and the vote for the new Constitution had been overwhelming. The nationalists wanted complete independence from the United States, but scarcely got any votes. They were now seeking to accomplish by terrorism what they could not achieve by the ballot.

Under the new Constitution, Puerto Rico had about the same relationship to the U.S. as the Commonwealth of Australia had to England. Defense and foreign policy were administered from Washington, but Puerto Rico did not have to pay taxes to support an army and navy and Puerto Ricans were drafted into the U.S. armed forces. But the island collected its own taxes and fixed its own tax rates, though subject to the same tariff provisions as the U.S. The changes still did not appear to satisfy the fanatical nationalists.

In February, 1952, when General Eisenhower was supreme commander of NATO in Paris, he had received a letter from 17 Republican Congressmen, urging him to run for the presidency. Recently, the same 17 Congressmen, some of whom were now former members, had been invited to a luncheon at the White House, during which the President passed the letter among the guests and there was a lot of good-natured kidding about it. One of the Congressmen said that history did not change much, that they had liked Ike then and remained strong for him presently. The President said that he would never forget the friends who had stuck by him before and since the 1952 campaign, and he hoped that the 17 visitors would have lunch with him again the following year on the anniversary of the letter. He reminded that he had received the letter when some Democrats overseas were trying to get him to run as well for the Democratic nomination, and Congressman Walter Judd of Minnesota said that it showed that at least some Democrats knew a good thing when they saw one.

Marquis Childs, in Berlin, tells of a film, "The Golden Garden", drawing crowds in the theaters of Berlin and throughout West Germany, a color documentary made in Southern California by Hans Domnick, a German photographer. The film presented a mechanized civilization of superhighways carrying thousands of speeding cars, with large parking lots, three-minute car washes, trailer courts, drive-in restaurants with waitresses in snappy uniforms. One of the long sequences showed a jalopy race with cars careening against the wall of a speedway and an occasional ambulance moving in to carry off the injured. A clever commentary accompanied the film, which caused the audience alternately to laugh and gasp with amazement. The end of the film showed a large rodeo with bucking broncos and Brahman bulls. All of it amazed the German audiences, foreign to their experience.

Mr. Childs finds it to have raised interesting questions about the image of America in the European mind and the profound differences in outlook, habit, and the varying desires between the old world and the new. The dream and the ideal of America which had been cherished in Europe for 175 years was beginning to get stale, independent of Communist propaganda. The belief was forming that all was not well in the mechanized civilization of America, as Europeans saw such plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams and were inclined to transpose its neuroticism literally onto all of American life. Europeans wondered why America was so fearful, manifested by the difficulty in obtaining an American visa just for a few days' visit. The necessity of personal questions and being fingerprinted was foreign to the European visitors' concept of America with its freedoms and historical welcome mat for the downtrodden and oppressed.

He finds that a year earlier, the impact of what the Europeans called McCarthyism had perhaps been at its highest level, when there was controversy over the United States Information Agency libraries containing books by authors supposedly tainted by subversive ties or about supposedly subversive topics. It had coincided with Senator McCarthy's top young investigators, Roy Cohn and David Schine, gallivanting across Western Europe making a spectacle of themselves.

Millions of Europeans who felt that Europe was too traditional and rigid, with limited opportunity, still held America as their goal, especially true in West Germany with its overcrowding brought on by ten million refugees from Eastern Europe. But the image from the past, the Statue of Liberty and its meaning, had become blurred, and whether it was brought back into focus depended on how Americans asserted their rights to freedom in the near future.

Robert C. Ruark, in Wellington, New Zealand, finds it surprising that there were only three million people inhabiting New Zealand, as the only thing to do after dark was to hold hands for amusement. The land had originally been populated by birds which could not fly, without other animals or people, few insects and no snakes. The people and the animals, the fish and even the gnats, grew bigger than they had been in the original state, and the people set fire to the forests and then had to hand-plant new forests to create jobs to keep people from setting fire to the new forests. The country appeared to be first in everything except amusement, the first to become socialized, the first to grant suffrage to females.

He finds the country to have the most sky, the most water, the most mountains, the most fish, the most deer, the most opossums, and the most government of any place in the world. It also had the most famous beekeeper, Sir Edmund Hillary, who, the prior June, had become the first person, along with Sherpa Tenzing, to reach the peak of Mount Everest.

A letter writer from Albemarle finds it sad that there had been an attack on the House by the four Puerto Rican nationalists, shooting five Congressmen, wounding one seriously. She believes that a divided Congress would not stand and that there was not only a divided Congress but also a divided America, with half of the people forsaking God. She believes that the tragedy should bring the nation to the realization that God had ways of warning the people to live right, and that the tragedy should be a turning point for the people to turn back to God.

Does not that sort of thinking only encourage the next fanatic to up the ante?

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for carrying the Associated Press reports of Billy Graham's welcome to London for his three-month crusade, urges the newspaper to continue to carry the stories about it as hundreds of residents were praying for him.

A letter from A. W. Black indicates that the British people had generally made tremendous strides and intellectual advancement away from religious orthodoxy during the previous 50 years, and particularly since 1938, when the Church of England had officially declared the creation narrative in Genesis to be mythological rather than historical, a direct concession to rationalism and science. He thus believes that Billy Graham would be unable to persuade Britons to return to religion with theological preaching, "barnyard stock and phoney cowboys"—a reference to the apparent accompaniment of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans on his crusade.

A letter writer from Boston, president of the Automobile Safety Association, indicates that automobile accidents were claiming 38,000 lives and causing approximately two million injuries per year during the previous 40 years in spite of efforts to increase awareness of safety. He advocates improvement of the safety of motor vehicles, to improve visibility and achieve better balance of the vehicle, to avoid losing traction in sudden stops and on curves. He favors placing the engine in the rear, says that it was a mistaken belief that placing the engine in front protected the driver.

Well, come 1959, we suppose you will get your wish with the Corvair. But...

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., longs for the good old days when men were men and Congressional representatives were actors, suggests that there had been enough slander and diatribes slung about in the public record, without trials or legal standards, and the safeguards of the Constitution ignored, such that anyone who claimed the privilege of the Fifth Amendment was regarded as a leftist or New Dealer. He reminds that most of the principal highways of the country got their big push during the New Deal and that many had been able to eat who would have otherwise starved. He concludes that the only good thing he saw coming from the Republican bickering among themselves was the fact that the harder they fought and purged one another, the fewer votes they probably would receive in the next elections.

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