The Charlotte News

Monday, March 8, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Japan and the U.S. had this date signed a mutual defense pact to give the Japanese guns and grain, to hasten the day when U.S. troops could withdraw. The mutual defense assistance agreements would contribute 100 million dollars in U.S. aid to Japan's economy during the ensuing three months and probably amount to more in the long run. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Allison said that the agreement took the country one step nearer to the time when it could withdraw its forces from Japan. It would increase Japan's defense force from 120,000 to 160,000 men and train it along more military lines. The U.S. would supply ships and airplanes. The U.S. would supply 500,000 tons of surplus wheat and 100,000 tons of barley, and Japan would in turn sell the grain domestically and use the money for guns and munitions. Despite Socialist opposition in Japan, it was anticipated that the agreements would be ratified by the Diet by April 1. Ambassador Allison said that the pact did not require Japan to send troops abroad, that, according to Secretary of State Dulles, it was defensive in nature, directed exclusively toward contributing to the defense and security of Japan. But it also did not restrict Japan from sending troops wherever it saw fit.

The President, in a report to Congress on the nation's foreign military aid, said that for more than four years, the U.S. had provided 7.7 billion dollars worth of guns, ammunition and other military equipment to strengthen free nations against the threats of Soviet power, that almost half of the total had been shipped during 1953. He said that as long as the threat to world peace existed, the U.S. would continue to shoulder the heavy burden of world leadership and that military and economic aid programs could not be drastically cut without undoing much of the success which had been painstakingly achieved. The report said that in 1949, the U.S. had financed about 25 percent of its total exports of non-military goods and services by grants and loans, but that in 1953, only about 15 percent was financed by such aid. The report said that the rate of U.S. military shipments to Indo-China in 1953 was about 50 percent higher than in the previous year and that the U.S. had made available 385 million dollars in aid to Indo-China, in addition to 400 million previously appropriated by Congress for the present fiscal year. Military shipments in 1953 to all countries amounted to 3.8 billion dollars, an increase of more than 60 percent over those in 1952.

In Caracas, Venezuela, at the Inter-American Conference, Secretary of State Dulles opened the debate this date on Communism, reading the "established facts" about the Communist movement, saying that he was not accusing any government or any individual of being either plotters or dupes of plotters, replying in particular to the question of the Guatemalan foreign minister, who during the debate the previous week had asked what was international Communism, saying that by now every foreign minister knew what it was and it was disturbing if the foreign affairs of one of the American republics were being conducted by a person so innocent that he had to ask that question. Previously, Secretary Dulles had said that Guatemala's "abusive attack" would not be permitted to obscure the real issue, that Communist intervention was taking place in the Western Hemisphere.

In Miami Beach, Adlai Stevenson, in a televised and radio broadcast speech the previous night, criticized the President for failing to stand up to Senator McCarthy, whom he said was sowing slander and dissension across the nation, that his investigations threatened a "malignant and fatal totalitarianism", that of two million Federal employees, only one alleged active Communist had been found. Democratic Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington said that he agreed with the conclusion but was not too sure of the timing or importance which Mr. Stevenson had attached to Senator McCarthy and his charges of Communists in the Government. Senator James Murray of Montana agreed with that assessment. Both said that they believed that the fall midterm elections would revolve around Republican fiscal policies rather than the Communist issue. Senator McCarthy, himself, reacted to Mr. Stevenson's speech by saying it was "a very cute and clever political talk designed to cloud the issues".

One week after the shooting from the House gallery by four Puerto Rican nationalists, wounding five Congressmen, one seriously, some humor began to return to the House, with all of the wounded Congressmen now recovering satisfactorily. One member questioned how, with the mob around them, a bullet could have gotten through. Representatives Jesse Walcott of Michigan and Clarence Brown of Ohio offered a make-believe award to any member who could prove he did not take part in the capture of the attackers. Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia, who had not been present at the time of the shooting, suggested legislation to set up three types of pay for those who were under fire, combat pay, for those who stood up under fire, flight pay, for those who fled the chamber, and submarine pay, for those who dove under their seats. One member, who asked to remain anonymous, related that at the time of the shooting, an elevator operator had given him a bottle which, though it bore the label of whiskey, the operator suspected of being poison because an unidentified woman had given it to him, whispering, "For the wounded." The unidentified Congressman then poured out the contents and sent it out for chemical analysis, but later found out that the woman who had provided the suspicious liquid was actually the secretary of a Capitol official.

Republican Congressional leaders said at the White House this date that the President felt that a House bill to cut excise taxes by nearly a billion dollars had gone a little too far. House Speaker Joe Martin of Massachusetts said to newsmen, following his regular Monday morning conference with the President, that the Administration hoped to get the proposed reduction figure cut some when it reached the Senate. He said that neither the Administration nor the House leaders would make any effort to reduce the proposed cut in the House. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland said that he did not want to speculate on what might happen to the tax bill when it reached the Senate.

Maj. General William Dean, who had been a prisoner of war of the Communists for three years, after being captured in July, 1950, early in the fighting in Korea, testified as a defense witness before a military tribunal inquiring into the conduct of Marine Col. Frank Schwable, who had confessed falsely to participation in aerial germ warfare during his imprisonment. The purpose of the inquiry was to determine whether a court-martial should be formally convened. General Dean told of his attempt to commit suicide after 32 hours of continuous interrogation by the Communists, saying that he was too weak to escape but thought that he could seize an unguarded machine gun, kill his interrogator and then put the barrel in his own mouth. He said that he was able to obtain the gun but that the trigger mechanism failed and that he had been knocked down and disarmed. He said that he was not subjected to any physical torture and that if the Communist interrogators had pierced him with bamboo spears or stuck splinters under his fingernails or set him on fire, he did not know whether he might have given them whatever it was they wanted at the time, such as the defense plans for Japan. The General said that he had classified information at the time and that he was concerned about giving it away under torture, that if he ever went into combat again, he would carry a pill to take to kill himself if captured. Col. Schwable had told of long periods of examination when he was forced to stand at attention without a break for any purpose. The General said that he had never heard of Col. Schwable until after his own release.

As pictured, the wrong man, accused and convicted of a bank robbery in Connecticut, sentenced to ten years in prison, was freed after six people had been arrested in Indiana, one of whom had confessed to the robbery, a man who resembled the man convicted. The man still faced charges of another armed robbery in Connecticut, but the news of his freedom on the previous conviction had brought smiles from his wife and six-month old son, also pictured. Now, you know very well that the little baby was simply responding to something the cameraman did to elicit his smile and had no idea where his father was or what in the world was going on around him. We must have truth and journalistic integrity in presenting the news.

In San Francisco, a nine-year old, helping her family pack up for a picnic had locked herself in the trunk of the family car the previous day, and because she also had the key with her, her father had to unbolt the back seat to free her.

On the editorial page, "Hiring Is as Important as Training" indicates that local residents had many opportunities to increase their knowledge through adult education, according to the Social Planning Council and the American Association of University Women. But a directory compiled by those organizations also showed that the community had inadequacies in certain fields, especially in facilities for trade and technical training, particularly for black residents.

It provides the details of the study, and finds that only six of the 129 fields studied were in the trade and industrial category, bricklaying, carpentry, training of electricians, training of machinists, radio and tv repair and sheet metal work, all available only through the City school system, with admission to the classes restricted to those already in the trade.

It finds that only about two percent of the blacks in the area made more than $2,999 per year, and that if trade training and jobs were made available, that percentage would increase rapidly and the state would start the upward climb toward a respectable standing among the states in per capita income, resulting in increase in local purchasing power and decrease in crime and other concomitants of poverty. It suggest that perhaps a community inventory of job opportunities for black citizens was in order.

"Challenging Idea for College Athletics" indicates that Harold Stoke, a former president of the University of New Hampshire and LSU, presently dean of the graduate school at the University of Washington, had written a piece in the Atlantic Monthly, an abstract of which appeared on the page this date, contending that college athletics had become an entertainment and that it would be better simply to admit the fact and thereby relieve the faculties of responsibility for the athletes as students, that the athletes were brought in to benefit the university by attracting entertainment revenue, whereas students were brought in for the purpose of learning.

It indicates that Mr. Stoke's suggestion might not work but had the virtue of being a new approach to solving what had become an insoluble problem.

"From the Schools, a Public Nuisance" indicates that the morning air this date in Charlotte had been pervaded by smoke "from a thousand fires" hanging low over the earth, "shrouding trees and buildings in a thick gray murk through which the rays of the early sun" barely filtered. It finds that the worst offenders regarding the smoke nuisance were public buildings, specifically schools, three of which it names as belching heavy black smoke, as janitors put the furnaces to work overtime to heat the buildings after a cold weekend. It finds that private businesses could not be expected to abate their smoke nuisance when public buildings offended so grievously. It also meant that tax dollars were being wasted as the black smoke indicated inefficient combustion in the school furnaces. It suggests to the City School Board that it should clean up the nuisance, both for good public relations and good finances.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "It's a Dog's Own Life", indicates that the American Society of Planning Officials had raised the questions of how many dogs made a kennel and when did a puppy become a dog, in determining compliance with municipal zoning laws. In Los Angeles, three or more dogs constituted a kennel, but then the question arose as to whether a chihuahua was the equivalent of a St. Bernard. It finds the question of when a puppy became a dog to be similar to the question of the voting age in Georgia. It suggests that if a greyhound was old enough to run, it could be called a dog. James Thurber once had told of having a pet which was afraid of synthetic thunder, and it suggests that such dogs grew old before their time. And it goes on…

It concludes that according to the Census, there were 13 million dogs in the country, and that, together with cats and canaries, resulted in there being more pets than there were children. It suggests, therefore, forgetting about trying to provide zoning laws for them.

Harold Stoke, as indicated in the above editorial, in an excerpt from an article in the March issue of The Atlantic Monthly, titled "College Athletics—Education or Show Business?" offers a suggestion as to how the strain on the country's educational institutions could be reduced, by admitting that intercollegiate athletics programs were operated primarily as public entertainment and not as educational responsibilities, making recruiting of athletes not only legal but justifiable as a legitimate university operation. It would also clarify the position and character of the coaching staff, that it should be the best obtainable and freed to meet its obligations without the moral strain imposed by the necessity to circumvent impossible requirements. The financial situation would also become manageable as athletics would become an entertainment and not need to be a charge against the educational budget.

Mr. Stoke indicates that there would be no concern then for the academic record of a young man who came to the university primarily to play on a team and whom the university had brought there for that purpose. Thus, there would be nothing wrong with relieving all athletes of the obligation to meet academic requirements if they were unable or did not wish to comply. Eligibility rules should be made and enforced only by those who were concerned about them, the athletic management, not the faculties.

He posits that doing so would restore institutional and personal integrity as there would no longer be the need to maintain the pretense that athletics was part of an educational program. Since educational institutions were basically devoted to intellectual honesty, such honesty would free athletics as well as education "from the schizophrenia from which they both now suffer."

The extent to which his suggestions were being presented somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as a reminder of how far the situation had gone in a negative direction, the reader will have to discern.

It goes along with the completely ludicrous notion being promoted by some today that college athletes should openly be paid. Sure, why not just bring the NBA onto the college campuses and forget about college athletics completely? Until the NBA adopts the same sensible rules that the NFL has regarding recruitment of college athletes, the game in college is going slowly to die until it is no longer much worth following. Today, the teams who recruit the less stellar athletes, who then stay three or four years, are the ones winning the championships, not the one-and-doners full of high sounding hype and flash out of high school, ultimately becoming a load of sound and fury signifying little in terms of team success at the college level in their one or two years of play, recruited typically by the likes of Kentucky, and, to remain competitive, now creeping into other programs, which shall remain nameless. Two in particular, however, traditionally not following the one-and-done path until recent years, are having their difficulties because of that very problem, stellar freshman recruits who then stay one or two years and then head off to the pros, leaving the college program in a fair amount of havoc, the problem feeding on itself, as the coaches have to scramble for more quick fixes to plug in to make up for the loss of the one-and-doners. Get back to the basics, the idea that a college education is a wonderful opportunity, which many people would love to have at a major university, and if a young person is not ready or does not wish to partake of that educational opportunity, prefers to make millions, fine. Off to the pros with you right out of high school. But don't waste the precious time and energy of professors and college administrators by partaking of the year in college just so you can show off and then get a ridiculously high salary from the pros the following year. And don't present some sad sack case for pay at the college level, when out of college, you will earn more in a single season of pro ball than most of your compadres will in the first ten or twenty years out of college. Our heart bleeds for you that you must attend classes and subsist on the largess of the institution and its fairly lavish scholarship perqs, not accessible to most students. Of course, the responsible adults in the NBA are the source of the problem. Get it fixed or it will ultimately consume itself and damn not only the college program but, eventually, the pro game as well.

All is not well in college athletics, especially college basketball of late.

That said, we hope that Duke and UNC do very well in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and then will meet in the semifinals, with, of course, UNC then winning for the third time this season. But the schools need athletes who will stay around for a little while, not just those who are out to spend one year on campus showing off and then head off to the big time pros to make millions, regretting that they could not contribute more to the college and the program of which they insist they are so proud and glad to have been provided the rich opportunity to obtain an education. Don't bother to come in the first place, if that is your goal. We do not need you. Go to Jackass State College of Podunk, where the students don't give a rip about education in the first place.

And to the tv sports commentators who constantly harp on this issue, you need a grip on reality. Not everyone earns the kind of money you do by talking about sports. We don't blame you for perhaps feeling a little guilty about the fact that you get so much and the college athletes get comparatively little, but you fail to realize that the average college student makes do only on money from home or that afforded by a part-time job, does not have the benefit of tutors which athletes have, and still manages to make the grades and attend classes and graduate on time. Maybe some of the tv commentators did not do so, but that is their problem, not the university's. Again, if your goal in life is to play pro ball and get rich, fine, go to. But don't bring that garbage onto the college campus.

Drew Pearson indicates that not since the beginning of the Administration had there been so much disagreement among opposing groups of advisers on a given issue than regarding Senator McCarthy the previous week in his dispute with the Army. The result had been an original draft of a strongly worded anti-McCarthy statement which had never been released by the White House and was then modified to a gentle rebuke. The pro-McCarthy group in the White House included the Congressional liaison officer, General Wilton Persons, former assistant to Senator Taft Jack Martin, and Gerald Morgan, who with his partner had once obtained $10,000 per month for lobbying against high taxes and for the pipeline companies. Vice-President Nixon was also on board with appeasing the Senator. They told the President that the Senator was not so bad, that Roy Cohn was the bad person in his entourage, whom other Senators were demanding that the Senator fire.

The anti-McCarthy group included Robert Cutler, a Boston banker, Max Rabb, the President's counsel Bernard Shanley, C. D. Jackson, publisher of Fortune, and Sherman Adams, the chief of staff. Press secretary James Hagerty remained more or less neutral. This anti-McCarthy group had been stronger within the White House than the pro-McCarthy group, but outside, there were two groups which had great weight on the President's thinking, one being the RNC and the other the right-wing, isolationist Senators, who had constantly warned the President that Senator McCarthy was necessary for them to win an election, that he could carry the Irish Catholic vote and swing such key states as Illinois to the Republicans the following November.

That group also included some of the most influential newspapers in the country, most of them pro-Eisenhower, attracting large numbers of independent voters in 1952. Those newspapers included the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, the Knight newspapers and others, all desiring that the President take a strong stand against the Senator. They were the newspapers to which Senator McCarthy apparently referred when he talked about left-wing publications which favored "Fifth Amendment Communists", that is witnesses who came before Congress and invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination rather than answer questions about prior membership in subversive organizations. It had been newspaper reaction which had finally convinced the President early the previous week to take a firm stand against the Senator and order issuance of a firm statement. But news of the statement had leaked, reportedly, through General Persons, saying that "Ike is fighting mad" and that "McCarthy has gone too far, and if he makes one more move, Ike will let them have it." Senator McCarthy then ducked a showdown and issued a conciliatory statement that there should be an end to the controversy over General Ralph Zwicker, whom the Senator had said did not deserve to wear the uniform of the Army because of his supposed protection of generals who had been responsible for promoting and then honorably discharging a dentist in the Army Reserve who had, some 14 months earlier, claimed the Fifth Amendment privilege against answering questions about membership in the Communist Party, leading the Senator to indicate that the dentist therefore was a Communist.

Mr. Pearson suggests that the act of conciliation might have had some influence on the President, but that what influenced him more was a call from RNC chairman Leonard Hall, who urged the President not to issue the tough statement against the Senator, to let Republican leaders and the Senate act instead, emphasizing the importance of party unity, that the Democrats would enjoy such a battle, and that Mr. Hall could get Senator McCarthy to be reasonable. Mr. Hall then issued an anti-McCarthy statement to the press as he left the White House after having convinced the President that he should be the one to tackle the Senator. Thus, the tough statement was scrapped by the President.

But at that point, Senator McCarthy issued one of the toughest statements he had ever made, effectively throwing down the gauntlet to the President to stop him.

The merger of Nash Motors and Hudson was delayed until Hudson would obtain a final approval from its largest stockholder, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, who owned 16 percent of the Hudson stock.

Police had found a clue linking a former UAW official to the shooting of CIO president Walter Reuther, also head of the UAW. The name and phone number of racketeer Santo Perrone were found in that labor official's desk. Mr. Reuther had cleaned out the numbers rackets from various plants and Mr. Perrone and others wanted the rackets continued.

The Democrats would put up a fight in Congress for salary increases for Government workers.

The large American oil companies were frantic over the sudden anti-American attitude of Saudi Arabia's new king, Saud al Saud. He had fallen under the influence of bitterly anti-American advisers and U.S. companies were worried that he would stop all cooperation with the U.S.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop present the approximate advice being given the President whenever a crisis occurred with Senator McCarthy, that the President had given up the availability of running as a Democrat to lead the Republicans "out of the wilderness of creeping socialism", and that in politics, they needed to proceed in a practical manner so that the Republicans could hold onto both houses of Congress in 1954, for if the Democrats would win, they would be able to thumb their noses at the President and his "progressive dynamic program" and begin the process of drifting again toward socialism, enabling them to spend their way back into the White House in 1956 and another 20 years of "corruption and leftism".

The Alsops indicate that it was possible to reproduce those arguments with confidence because they were constantly being refrained like a stuck record, not only to the President but to all who did not want him to acquiesce to the will of Senator McCarthy.

The argument then proceeded that for the Republicans to win in November, they would need Senator McCarthy in their corner as the voters liked him, that he held the key to victory in at least three states and maybe more, states they would need to win to maintain control of Congress, for the good of the country. They also consistently contended that it was the wrong time to have a showdown with Senator McCarthy as they did not have a good case against him. They would say that they understood how the President felt about the Senator but that as President, he could not afford to split the Republican Party down the middle and lose in 1954 and 1956, that as President, his personal feelings had to come last.

The Alsops indicate that those arguments always persuaded the President to compromise with Senator McCarthy, leaving the Senator in apparent triumph. The President still considered himself a political amateur and so tended to defer to the experts in politics, despite all of the arguments they presented being specious, as there was no reason to believe that the Senator was such an important asset to the Republicans. Every public opinion poll indicated that he alienated at least as many voters as he attracted. It was often forgotten that the Senator had campaigned fully in Missouri, Montana and Washington in 1952, but that his efforts resulted in the kiss of death for the Republican Senatorial candidates he supported, despite the Eisenhower landslide. Moreover, he was not so stupid as to provide an airtight case against him for the Administration to pursue or to attack the President directly until he was certain he could destroy him. The most specious of all of the arguments was that the President should not allow himself to be influenced by his personal feelings, which amounted to a mixture of anger and contempt. For when his leadership was threatened and his basic principles assaulted, with the integrity of the executive branch attacked, the President had the right to have strong personal feelings and a duty to act on them.

A letter writer suggests converting the Armory-Auditorium into a technical school after the new Auditorium-Coliseum complex was finished.

A letter writer from Davidson indicates that the latest efforts by Senators McCarthy and Everett Dirksen to lash out at the Communist threat had a decidedly Fascist tint to it. For they had suggested that "disagreeable" labor camps be provided for men of draft age who were known Communists and who invoked the Fifth Amendment when questioned about their participation in the Communist conspiracy, which the writer believes resembled the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, which also contained nonconformists and political opponents. He indicates that he was not suggesting that if the recommendation of the two Senators were implemented, America would necessarily become another Third Reich, but finds it would be a step toward a Fascist-type government, and regards the suggestion therefore as dangerous. He tells of the Fascist movement in Europe prior to World War II having been largely stimulated by fear of Communism, helping to put Hitler in power and later enabling him to consolidate his position, ultimately resulting in the extreme of Nazism. He finds that it would not be prudent to allow Communists to enter the armed forces, or have them exempt from the armed forces, thus placing a premium on becoming a Communist to avoid service, but that a more fair and democratic method of solving the problem ought be devised than that suggested by the two Senators. He indicates that Senator McCarthy and his followers would not admit that a person could be strongly opposed to Communism and also to the Senator and his tactics, that striking out against people suspected of being Communists because they opposed those tactics would eventually erode the liberties central to the democratic system.

A letter writer from Chapel Hill expresses gratitude to the newspaper for its support in publicizing and promoting the 1954 March of Dimes campaign, indicating that it was still too soon to report the amount of money contributed by the people of Mecklenburg County and of North Carolina.

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