The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 15, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that secret questioning of witnesses was ordered this date in the dispute between Senator McCarthy and top Army officials, who had filed a new "bill of particulars" accusing the Senator of improper pressure tactics. An informed source reported that the Army's new detailed statement of its case, provided the Senate Investigations subcommittee the previous day, was "stronger against McCarthy" than the original report from the Army which had set off the dispute by accusing the Senator and the subcommittee's chief counsel, Roy Cohn, of using pressure tactics to obtain favored treatment for Private G. David Schine, drafted by the Army the previous fall, after having been an unpaid aide of the subcommittee. The Army refused to make public the seven-page typed statement, but the informed source said that it stuck closely to the Army's original allegations regarding the pressure tactics, but was more specific in alleging that the Senator had backed up Mr. Cohn in seeking a commission and special assignment in New York for Private Schine. Neither the Senator nor Mr. Cohn had filed with the subcommittee any formal statement which they hoped to prove at the public, televised hearings, set to start April 22. The subcommittee would not disclose the names of the witnesses called before the executive session this date or where or when they would be questioned. Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota, temporary chairman of the subcommittee during the special investigation, told newsmen that the subcommittee's special staff had orders to begin examining the witnesses and evidence while the Senators dealt with problems of procedure, including the role which Senator McCarthy would play in the inquiry. Senator Mundt said that he would call an extraordinary Easter Sunday session with Senator McCarthy, provided the latter returned from his trip to Arizona and Texas by that time.

Don Whitehead of the Associated Press, in the ninth in the series of retrospective reports on Senator McCarthy, indicates that the bitterness of the Army's fight with the Senator was based on the conviction of persons at the Pentagon that the Senator had damaged the integrity and prestige of the Army, a matter of honor and pride, with the question of obtaining special treatment for Private Schine being only secondary. Thus, the Pentagon was taking an uncompromising position on the matter for having the honor of the Army's top officials impugned. Army morale had greatly suffered in February when it appeared that Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens had surrendered to Senator McCarthy following the challenge of the Senator to the Army's treatment of the Army Reserve dentist, promoted and then honorably discharged after pleading the Fifth Amendment to Congressional questioning regarding prior participation in subversive organizations, first prompting Secretary Stevens to order high-ranking officers not to appear before the subcommittee further, then relenting on the order on the assumption that the subcommittee had agreed not to treat the Army officers with such disrespect in the future, causing Senator McCarthy then to respond that there was never any mistreatment of the officers and that no such agreement had been reached, but that morale had rebounded some when it became clear that Secretary Stevens, with the support of the President, would fight back, following issuance of the report to the subcommittee. The piece lists several gripes with the Senator's positions vis-à-vis the Army, which had been amply covered previously.

It is reported from Hanoi that the French high command had announced this night that the Vietminh troops had succeeded in entrenching themselves in the northern part of the main airstrip, only 2,400 feet from the French fortress at Dien Bien Phu. An earlier announcement had said that the rebels had been driven away after blowing up the northern end of the airstrip in a night attack. They had gotten within 100 yards of the French defenders in the northwest corner of the fortress where the airstrip was, and with the use of bamboo sticks loaded with nitroglycerin, had managed to rip out a large chunk of the airstrip's steel matting. In Tokyo, the U.S. Air Force announced the temporary transfer of a squadron of U.S. C-119 Flying Boxcars to the Philippines for airlifting supplies to Indo-China. The Air Force said that the squadron personnel would not normally travel that route, but would serve in maintenance, supply and administrative capacities. The Vietminh had used continual anti-aircraft and artillery fire to prevent planes from landing on the airstrip to supply the fortress.

Two former chairmen of the Atomic Energy Commission were planning to testify at the security hearing before a three-man commission, determining questions of loyalty regarding atomic scientist, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer. Both David Lilienthal, head of the AEC between 1946 and 1950, and Gordon Dean, who had succeeded Mr. Lilienthal and served until the previous summer, would apparently testify in favor of Dr. Oppenheimer. Dr. Vannevar Bush, wartime head of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, would also likely testify. Dr. David Hill, chairman of the Federation of American Scientists, and Dr. Howard Meyerhoff, executive director of the Scientific Manpower Commission, had made statements in support of Dr. Oppenheimer. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson stated the previous day that Dr. Oppenheimer had been eased out as an adviser to the armed forces the previous year, and that the committee on which he had served had been abolished the prior July as a "real smooth way" to eliminate the problem. The Secretary said that he had sympathy for anyone who had made a mistake and then reformed, but believed that they should reform elsewhere than in the armed services. In Dallas, Senator McCarthy said that he had considered Dr. Oppenheimer a security risk for some time.

Secretary of State Dulles returned to the U.S. this date from his trip abroad to consult with the leaders of Britain and France regarding "united action" with respect to Indo-China, saying that he believed the Geneva conference, slated to start April 26, would advance the cause of freedom in Southeast Asia, and that he was satisfied with the results of the trip. He said that a more serious disaster could be averted if the free nations were united and that such a unity of purpose depended on full understanding. He said that the possibility of a ten-nation alliance similar to NATO, proposed for the Southeast Pacific, had been enhanced through his talks. The alliance, to become SEATO the following September, was aimed at stemming Communist expansion in Indo-China and the rest of Southeast Asia.

The Senate Banking Committee this date set up public hearings for the following Monday on multi-million-dollar housing scandals, and, according to Committee chairman Senator Homer Capehart, the first witness would be Albert Cole, Federal housing chief, Guy Hollyday, resigned head of the FHA, and Clyde Powell, assistant FHA commissioner.

At Hill Air Force Base in Utah the previous night, two young daughters of a former Charlotte resident, a staff sergeant, were found dead of suffocation, having apparently climbed into a refrigerator in a vacant apartment and closed the door behind them. They were discovered by a neighbor when he noticed a pair of rollerskates lying in the doorway of the vacant apartment. He then found a little girl's sweater in the kitchen of the apartment and noticed that the shelves of the refrigerator had been removed. He then found the two girls upright on the floor of the refrigerator.

Magnetic catches, a boon to mankind. As with the proliferation of guns and shootings, so simple to remedy, but so seemingly complicated for short-sighted fools wedded to corporate profits and for pols wedded to those corporate contributions, allowed without limit by the most politicized Supreme Court in the history of the republic. How do we unwind the process of devolution in 2021 and obtain our magnetic catches regarding uncontrolled possession of military assault rifles and handguns and uncontrolled corporate political contributions? A good start would appear to be to support elimination of the Senate filibuster on budgetary bills and expansion of the Supreme Court to 13 members by placing it in the context of a budgeting bill.

In Charlotte, City Manager Henry Yancey provided a letter of suspension to the superintendent of municipal cemeteries, pending the outcome of charges lodged against him. Police Chief Frank Littlejohn had served two warrants on the superintendent, charging him with larceny after trust and embezzlement, that he had appropriated to his own use certain City properties, including fertilizer, seed, etc., worth between $300 and $400.

On the editorial page, "The First Fateful Days of Korean War" indicates that a reader had written a letter this date charging the editors of the newspaper with being "careless with the historical and unbiased truth" in an April 9 editorial on Indo-China, taking issue with its first paragraph, which had said that former President Truman had acted decisively to combat the invasion of South Korea at the request of the U.N. Security Council. It finds it a thoughtful letter, meriting a thoughtful answer.

It indicates that whether the former President had acted at the request of the Security Council would be debated for a long time and was largely academic, not the point of the editorial, intended to help readers understand the present grim decision faced by President Eisenhower regarding Indo-China and to place that in historical perspective.

To counter the charge made by the letter writer, it provides the facts from the World Almanac, Time Magazine, Robert T. Oliver's Verdict in Korea, Robert Taft's A Foreign Policy for Americans, and Albert Warner's "How the Korean Decision Was Made", the latter appearing in the June, 1951 issue of Harper's. From those sources it provides the time line from the point of the incursion into South Korea by North Korea on June 25, 1950 through the meeting of the Security Council on the afternoon of June 27, (the piece mistakenly referring to January dates thrice in that time line, meant as June). President Truman had already made a public announcement committing U.S. air and sea forces earlier that day before the U.N. members agreed to the resolution to furnish assistance to South Korea, and U.S. ground troops were ordered into action on June 30.

The letter writer had contended that President Truman had stretched a cease-fire resolution passed on June 25 to cover his decision to use armed force, before the U.N. had called for armed assistance.

Time had indicated in its issue of July 3, 1950, that President Truman had arrived in Washington on Sunday afternoon, June 25, from Independence, "rumpled and grey", by which point the U.N. had "drawn up its moral position" before the Security Council and won U.N. backing. Secretary of State Acheson had already dispatched an angry protest to Moscow, leaving it to the President to decide whether action would go with those words. Senator Taft, in his book, had said that the President had committed the U.S. to the Korean War as an undertaking of the U.N., "deluded as to power which never has existed in the charter", that his moral position had been unassailable but he had not realized the implications of what he had started.

The piece indicates that it was that record on which it had based its phrase "at the request of the United Nation's Security Council".

As with many such popular but actually non-controversial "controversies" stirred by letter writers, especially those of the not too astute but always technical rightwing, this one is another tempest in a teapot, hardly worth the effort of the editors to respond. But the editors were having a slow day at the editorial desk, as is made obvious by the last editorial of this date. The letter writer in question was the same who had written on April 10 some ill-natured remarks, thought by the writer humorous, regarding Adlai Stevenson and his recent visit to Charlotte, as well as one of March 17, regarding his view that the newspapers were over-reacting to Senator McCarthy.

"A Way To Help Mecklenburg Schools" indicates that the previous week, a school principal from Mount Holly had written a letter urging parents to take an interest in the local school systems. Given the amount of tax money being spent on the schools, local figures for which it provides, it supposes that many taxpayers, particularly the parents of school-age children, would be interested in the local school system. But apparently, they were not. Two of the five seats on the County School Board were to be filled in the election the following month, and thus far, two days from the filing deadline, only two incumbents had filed for the positions. It urges, while making clear it was not knocking the incumbents, that others pay the five-dollar filing fee and declare as candidates.

"Of Mountain Flowers and Horn Tooting" indicates that one of the nicer things about the spring and fall seasons was that they inspired a flow of readable publicity about the glories of North Carolina's mountains. Margaret Fisher tooted a horn for the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, proclaiming the glories of the Southern Appalachians and especially the Blue Ridge Parkway, knowing that those who visited that region would wind up in Asheville. It quotes from her latest release, indicating that most such publicity releases wound up in the wastebasket, unopened, but that when Ms. Fisher put forth her descriptions with a poetic vocabulary, she received more serious attention, "especially when her work helps fill up an editorial column and permits the editor to get home in time to attend his own inconsequential flower bed."

That this was filler is precisely why you can read the quotes from Ms. Fisher for yourself. We do not garden. Our parents liked to garden, knew all the various flora. We do not. We prefer the music. Dig, yourself.

Drew Pearson indicates that when the President had initially made up his mind to intervene in Indo-China, the Western allies were immediately contacted and asked for their joint cooperation, which they refused to provide, that indication having been received prior to Secretary of State Dulles departing for London and Paris to obtain "united action" assurances from Britain and France in resisting Communism in Indo-China and Southeast Asia. In a meeting with French Ambassador to the U.S., Henri Bonnet, and leaders of Congress, chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Arthur Radford proposed military intervention by the U.S. alone, sending four aircraft carriers from the Philippines to the Indochinese coast. Senators present at the meeting immediately demanded that the British, French and other Western allies cooperate, but were unaware that Secretary Dulles had already sought their cooperation through diplomats and that they had refused. That was why Secretary Dulles had gone to Paris and London to make a face-to-face appeal with the British and French leaders.

White House strategists were wooing Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri, to try to get him to switch to the Republican side on some issues. They feared his effective attacks on military budget reductions. The Senator had joined the President on the golf course recently when fellow Senators were trying to get the vote on the special counsel for the Investigations subcommittee investigating the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy.

The President's brother Milton, president of Penn State, had been having trouble with the Daughters of the American Revolution, who were quoting his 1947 statement that UNESCO marked "very real progress toward the genuine goal of world government". He had to write a letter to Congressman Chester Merrow of New Hampshire, explaining that he was not for world government, though he was a proponent of the U.N. He had served as chairman of the U.S. delegation to UNESCO during the Truman Administration and when his statement had been made, it had been more fashionable to talk about world cooperation, whereas presently, the isolationist wave in the country had sent various people running for political cover.

Congressman Ralph Gwinn of New York, the second-ranking Republican on the House Labor Committee, an ultra-reactionary and proud of it, had achieved a record of mailing 2.5 million letters against housing, aid to education, and other such issues, largely on behalf of business lobbies, all at taxpayer expense. He had long earlier refused to recognize organized labor except as a "socialistic" menace to the country, regarded it as "organized violence" against employers. During recent closed-door sessions of the Committee regarding Taft-Hartley amendments, Mr. Gwinn had argued that the Act should be amended to include many restraints on labor, regarding Government interference on behalf of labor unions to be "one of our greatest threats to liberty". Democratic Congressman Cleveland Bailey of West Virginia said that Congressman Gwinn's idea of liberty was that of allowing industry to run sweatshops. But Mr. Gwinn believed that working people surrendered their liberty when they joined the unions and came under the influence of "labor racketeers".

Marquis Childs, in Rome, indicates that of the six nations which had signed the European Defense Community treaty, four, West Germany and the Benelux countries, had ratified it, leaving France and Italy yet to do so. The chances were that the Italian Parliament would delay even longer than the National Assembly in France in doing so. It was anticipated in Italy that one committee of the chamber would take two months to hold hearings and report the bill out, and there was a question as to whether the Parliament would then take the bill up or take a summer vacation. The Communists and allied groups, holding nearly 40 percent of the seats, would be able to prolong the debate for six months, meaning that passage would occur sometime late in the year or early in 1955. That timetable assumed that Premier Scelba's centrist coalition Government would remain in power and that it would not be necessary, therefore, to hold new elections.

It meant that there would be a prolonged period of uncertainty for EDC, the centerpiece of U.S. policy for Europe. With mounting tension between France and West Germany, it was possible that the whole concept of the unified army would fall apart. The U.S. should have been aware of the problem in Italy, as it has been made clear that ratification was dependent on satisfaction of the Italian demand for Trieste. The previous October, the U.S. and Britain had promised to Italy that it could have Zone A in Trieste, but then Yugoslavia protested, with Tito sending troops to the disputed border, prompting Italy to respond with a similar move, causing the State Department to decide that no chances could be taken, thus withdrawing the pledge to Italy, at least temporarily. The U.S. had informed Italy that it should not attach Trieste to ratification of EDC, but they nevertheless were persisting.

The Yugoslav Army on active duty was believed to be two to three times stronger than that of the Italian Army, but Italy's geography, along with that of France, was of vital importance to the defense of Western Europe.

From some quarters, a new alignment was being suggested to circumvent the issue of the non-ratification by France and Italy, whereby Britain would join with the Benelux countries and West Germany to form a northern defense axis, while in the south, reliance would be placed on the retaliatory striking power of the U.S. delivered from peripheral bases in Africa and Spain.

Doris Fleeson indicates that if labor had its way, there would be no new labor legislation during the current session of Congress. House and Senate committees had been hard at work drafting amendments to Taft-Hartley, some of which presumably were pleasing to labor and others pleasing to industry. But all of the pressure for enacting those amendments was coming from industry, while labor was indifferent. Labor believed that Secretary of Labor James Mitchell would take their part, but that Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks would advise the President about what he should do and labor was unwilling to risk that possibility. Because so little had been accomplished thus far, it would not be hard to stave off the debate on the changes until after the July or August adjournment.

Politically, she indicates, it was hard to see why the President wanted to add a dispute with labor to his other political troubles, as the tax bill had shored up his support among business, and in the states where Republicans would make the greatest effort to unseat incumbent Democratic Senators, the labor vote was substantial, in Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and Montana, and so a labor dispute would effectively hand those elections to incumbent Senators Paul Douglas, Thomas Burke, appointed to succeed deceased Senator Taft, Hubert Humphrey and James Murray, respectively. It was anticipated that hearings on the labor amendments would be delayed until the outcomes of the fall elections were known, as the odds were with the Democrats.

The Administration, however, had no way to delay action on farm legislation, and it was likely that it would take the form which the President would not like. The farm bloc in Congress believed that the President would not veto a bill reaffirming rigid high price supports. If he did so, flexible supports would automatically take effect, which the President preferred. But that would result in lower price supports generally, and it would only add to the reduction in farm prices and drought problems facing farmers, causing problems then for Republicans running for Congress. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson was making plans of his own, contrary to the wishes of the farm bloc, for tighter controls on major crops the following year, and also seeking to avoid surpluses in minor crops. The Administration appeared willing to gamble on the farm vote, when Congress was not.

A letter writer from Marshville, as indicated in the above editorial, takes issue with the editors for their April 9 editorial.

A letter writer from Rock Hill,, S.C., indicates that the U.S. and the free nations of the world had an acute interest in the need to bring about peace in the Middle East, as the Soviets were playing power politics in the U.N. with the tensions between Israel and the Arab states. He indicates that without peace and an increase in the standard of living, the Arab territories, rich though they were in oil, would remain a zone of trouble and an area for continued Soviet interference.

A letter writer thinks that the creed expressed by the vice-president of the American Trust Company recently in the newspaper, could be adopted by every outstanding business executive in Charlotte. He had said that two personal needs, the need to achieve and the need for recognition and approval, came into the relationship of people who worked together. He believes that any organization with such a creed would have thousands of supporters and no troubles.

1. Achieve;
2. Recognition and approval.

There ye go. All ye need to know.

A letter writer, identifying him or herself only as "Tourist", encloses a clipping from the newspaper marking mistakes, asking why it used a small "w" when referring to whites and a capital "N" when referring to Negroes. "Tourist" indicates that the newspaper's proofreaders must be near-sighted to let a thing like that pass.

The editors respond: "Methodical rather than myopic, our proofreaders and reporters follow standard style and capitalize first letters of the races (Negro, Caucasian), don't capitalize first letters of colors (black, white)."

The newspeak advocates among us should read that editorial reply repeatedly.

We suggest again, as we did last summer, that the rather stupid new convention, adopted first by the Associated Press, and now being followed by most media outlets, is quite improper in capitalizing "Black", often in combination with a lowercase "white", implying what in that silly form we have yet to understand, but it is not equality, now, is it? It is condescending to persons of color, suggesting a retreat to the time when Negro was the preferred designation—a time to which we hope we never do in fact retreat. It is equally stupid when both are capitalized. We understand why it was adopted, but the reason is rather short-sighted and simply incorrect vis-à-vis standard English. But for morons who use the word "iconic" as the universal adjective to describe anything they regard as significant, once regarded by them as "awesome", we suppose we could scarcely hope for much with any thoughtful, rational substance behind it, just something which looks nice in print to a few subjectively minded royalists. Meanwhile, the culture suffers and is degraded increasingly by the mindless, who are supposed to lead, instead are led around by their noses and the rings situated firmly in them by the need to appeal to the lowest common denominator leading them around.

For one thing, just as a practical matter, it makes for confusing stories, for you do not know whether there is a person with the surname Black involved or, if White is also capitalized, whether someone named White is involved, too. The next convention which will become popular, we suppose, is to refer to whites as Pinks, just to be Cute. Such silliness serves nothing and only aggravates existing problems with regard to racial prejudice. Trust us on this. Stop using that stupid convention, lest you become the laughing stock historically, 10 to 20 years from now, for having ever adopted it, mangling the language with sophomoric adaptations for your royalist conscience-salving, for your own obvious apparent racism. This is not 1960.

Also, stop using such ill-defined terms as "pushed back" and "doubled down", sounding as a bunch of street urchins fresh off the Blogosphere Train. "Resisted the idea" or "refused to accept the notion", "again denied" or "reaffirmed the earlier offered justification" are just as verbally economical and far more communicative of the actual idea intended as the cant of those who can't properly conceptualize complete thoughts. So-and-so "doubled down" sounds more like they placed a bet in a horse race, "pushed back", that they got into a shoving match with someone on the street. It might occasionally work for tv people who are forced to speak celeriously to accede to sponsors' timelines for the intercession of commercials and the overall compression of the program to a particular time allotment, but is quite connotative of an indolent tv-head, divorced from any reasonably discursive cognition, feigning pretense of a journalist, when used in print.

Why don't we try to return to use of the English language for a change without resort to such ill-conceived patois, worthy of mental midgets? Maybe then we might return to a semblance of reasonable normalcy in the country in how we treat each other, rather than succumbing to the whimsical desires of people wanting to vent their frustrations in life by exacting absurdly punitive sanctions on others for mere exercise of free speech, expressing one's opinion in exactly the damned fashion one wants to express it, the contrary being a society at a tipping point, tending toward fascism. As we have said repeatedly, the level of unsuppressed free speech in a society is always going to be inversely proportional to the level of violence in that society, especially one as this one which tolerates the proliferation of guns. One cannot suppress human nature.

As we have said many times also, such accommodation of the lowest common denominator was precisely the reason that we got Trump in 2016, in reaction to that mindless acquiescence rather than leading and taking the political risk in so doing. Should it continue, it will be precisely the reason we get some other reactionary cracker or demagogue in 2024 or afterward. Use English in the proper manner in which it was intended and which our good higher educational training provides us the good grace to use, to lead those who have not had the good grace to have that educational training, rather than accommodating the wishing-wand whimsy, led by a bunch of ratings-hungry, ditzel-haired morons interested only in appealing to their particular audience demographic, generally moronic as it is, obviously, leading everybody then around by the rings in their noses because they are led around, in turn, by the rings in their noses to do what's acceptable for their ring-leading sponsors. We don't give a damn about your circus sponsors, whether you are Fox, CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC or Alex Jones.

Your fascist corporate sponsors do not determine what our free speech is. The Constitution does.

"Black" is simply a commonly understood reference point, just as "white" is. They are neutral terms, not conveying anything racially charged, unless some morons decide that it should be either "the Whites" versus "the blacks" or "the Blacks" versus "the whites", both forms in juxtaposition being as racist as any Klansman, and, no doubt, most pleasing to same. In fact, every time we see "Black" juxtaposed to "white", which is now every day, we think that the fool must have been raised as a Klansman and is trying overly hard to compensate for that past. Is that what you are, an ex-Klansman journalist trying to reform yourself? You certainly do not like the United States Constitution and its Fourteenth Amendment. Why don't you bother to read it sometime.

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