The Charlotte News
Friday, April 23, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that on the second day of hearings before the Senate Investigations subcommittee conducting the special investigation of the dispute between Senator McCarthy and the Army, the Senator had denounced as "indecent and illegal" the action of Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens in monitoring a phone conversation with the Senator. Secretary Stevens had begun to testify this date regarding a conversation he had the prior November 7 with Senator McCarthy, of which, he said, a transcript had been made by an Army employee. He testified that during the phone call, the Senator had said to him that "one of the few things he had trouble" with regarding Roy Cohn, chief counsel for the subcommittee, was G. David Schine, former unpaid aide of the subcommittee—who had been drafted into the Army the prior fall after unsuccessful attempts by Senator McCarthy and Mr. Cohn to obtain an officer's commission for him. Mr. Stevens quoted the Senator as saying during the phone call that Mr. Cohn thought that Mr. Schine ought to become a general and operate from "a penthouse on the top of the Waldorf-Astoria", that the Senator had suggested that a few weekends off for Mr. Schine might be arranged, "perhaps for taking care of Schine's girlfriends". At that point, special counsel for the subcommittee, Ray Jenkins, had asked Secretary Stevens whether the transcript of the conversation was available, at which point Senator McCarthy raised a point of order, saying that it was "one of the most indecent, dishonest things" of which he had ever heard, at which point Mr. Jenkins interjected that the Senator was not making a proper point of order. Subcommittee chairman Senator Karl Mundt then interrupted to instruct Senator McCarthy to state his point of order without embellishment. Senator McCarthy responded that it was "completely indecent to monitor a conversation without telling the person on the other end", "improper, indecent and illegal under the law". He further stated that if the transcript were placed in the record verbatim and did not consist only of a compilation of notes taken by someone listening to it, he would not object. Senator Mundt then sustained the point of order and recessed the subcommittee until the afternoon, with the understanding that the Army employee who had made the transcript would be called to testify as to whether it was a full and complete record of the phone call or merely notes. Secretary Stevens indicated that he believed the transcript was an accurate, verbatim report of the conversation, taken in shorthand, contemporaneous with the call. Army counsel Joseph Welch said that Secretary Stevens, in response to a subpoena, had brought along the transcript, but Mr. Welch insisted that the subcommittee formally vote to order its production before it was submitted because of restrictions under the Federal Communications Act on disclosure of monitored phone conversations.
Secretary Stevens had begun his testimony this date, being questioned by Mr. Jenkins, with a point by point account of his dealings with Senator McCarthy since he had been first appointed as Secretary of the Army, largely a recapitulation of the points he had made in his opening statement the previous day, indicating that the Senator had proposed to him the previous September, when Mr. Schine was about to be drafted, that the latter be provided a special assignment to dig out Communists within the Army as a special assistant to the Secretary or as a special assistant to Army Intelligence, a proposal related to the Secretary within the Waldorf Towers apartment of Mr. Schine's wealthy parents. He also said that Mr. Schine had told him that he thought Mr. Stevens was doing "a good job in ferreting out Communists" in the Army.
Capitol police were undertaking extra precautions at the hearings by insisting that briefcases of entering spectators be left in the hall outside the Senate Office Building hearing room, but were not searching them—meaning that if someone brought in a bomb, it would only explode in the hallway.
From Saigon, it was reported that U.S.-airlifted paratroopers from France were arriving this date in Indo-China, ultimately to be transported to reinforce the French defenders of the embattled fortress at Dien Bien Phu in northwest Indo-China against the persisting attacks of the Vietminh. The first of a fleet of U.S. Air Force C-124 Globemaster transport planes had landed briefly in Saigon with 220 French paratroopers, wearing their characteristic berets. The total number remained a military secret, but it had been estimated by knowledgeable sources that it would include about 1,000 troops in ten airplanes. Because Indian Prime Minister Nehru had refused to allow foreign troops to cross Indian territory, the planes had to detour from the ordinary commercial route to refuel at the British base at Colombo, Ceylon, where three of the Globemasters had landed the previous day and two more had arrived this date, with the next stop being Bangkok, before heading on to Saigon.
The Vietminh this date again attacked the northwestern defenses of the fortress, gradually shrinking in size before the continued artillery and mortar bombardment of the enemy. A French communiqué indicated that fierce hand-to-hand fighting was in progress. It did not state whether the attack was the start of the anticipated third mass assault on the French defenses, expected to coincide with the beginning of the Geneva peace conference, in the hope of gaining for the Vietminh a favorable negotiated peace. The Vietminh had been driven out of some forward points in the northwest corner the previous day by fierce French counterattacks, with the French claiming that the enemy had suffered "heavy losses". But the rebels had returned early this date with renewed attacks against the same sector, again attempting a breakthrough to the heart of the fortress. Through the series of assaults, plus digging and thrusting, the Vietminh had managed to tighten their perimeter around the fortress, narrowing it from six by four miles to about 1.25 miles across. The infantry assaults of the previous day had come suddenly after two days of intermittent rain, the skies having cleared the previous day for awhile. U.S.-supplied B-26 bombers hit the Vietminh who were dug into a hill at the southeast rim of the fortress, with the French claiming that several companies had been destroyed by 1,000-pound bombs. French army sources described the present date's fighting as "bitter and furious".
In Paris, Russia demanded anew this date that the Geneva conference, scheduled to start the following Monday, be expanded to include Communist China in an equal status to that of the U.S., Britain, France and Russia. The demand had previously been rejected by the Western Big Three in the preliminary discussions regarding the conference. A source from the French Foreign Office said that they believed the new Russian demand would not postpone the talks, and that the demand had not necessarily required an answer. Western powers contended that Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had agreed at the earlier Big Four foreign ministers conference in Berlin that Communist China would only be invited to the Geneva meeting and would not be seated as one of the major powers, and that its participation in that status would not constitute diplomatic recognition.
Rowland Evans, Jr., reports that the
head of the Justice Department's criminal division, Warren Olney III,
charged this date before the Senate Banking Committee that the FHA
had considered itself "in partnership with lenders and
promoters" of home repairs with "no responsibility for the
victims of swindlers", leading to the current scandal involving
excessive charges for home repairs, in which the victims were led to
believe by the repairmen that because the home repairs were being
made under Government-guaranteed loans, they were mandatory
regardless of the cost. He said that the FHA had been concerned only
with keeping its financial records timely and suffering no monetary
losses, irrespective of the victimized homeowners. He described the
hucksters as "suede shoe boys ... replete with Cadillacs
In Casablanca, a Moroccan strolled into a bar the previous night, produced a pistol and wounded seven Europeans, fleeing on a bicycle, disappearing into crowds, three of the wounded reported to be in serious condition, and two of the other four persons slightly injured having been teenagers.
In Charlotte, Elizabeth Blair of The News reports of two local doctors removing a small plastic pellet from a five-year old boy's lung by means of controlled melting through use of an electric current which enabled the pellet to fuse to the instrument, which was then removed. The seven-minute operation was performed via a bronchoscope, a hollow metal tube inserted into the lung, and a small cautery heated on its tip by electricity, inserted into the tube until contacting the whistle-stop which the boy had inadvertently swallowed while riding his tricycle, hitting a bump, cutting his lip, and causing him to gulp the pellet. The operation had been performed on March 20, a day after the boy had entered the hospital, and he was discharged two days afterward. No anesthetic had been necessary. The usual method employed in such circumstances, utilizing forceps, could not reach the pellet because it was wedged too tightly in the lungs. Failure of the operation would have probably meant later removal of that lobe of the lung. The boy's aunt had said that he had no unpleasant memory of the operation, that the presence of the pellet had been uncomfortable since he had swallowed it on February 23, causing him to cough for periods lasting up to an hour. Initially, when the incident had occurred, he had run into the house and informed his grandmother of it, while turning blue, prompting her to pound and shake him until he was able to breathe again, but had, in the meantime, swallowed the pellet. A few days later, he developed a high temperature and doctors believed he had contracted pneumonia until they established that it was a foreign body lodged in his lung which had caused the problem. A doctor in Charleston had referred the case to the two doctors in Charlotte who had reported their novel procedure in the March, 1953 issue of the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, regarding the first such operation utilizing the heat method.
Moral: Don't ride your trike with your whistle in your mouth.
Television station WBTV in Charlotte announced this date that it would begin televising the Army-McCarthy hearings, as had WAYS television announced the previous night. Morning sessions would begin at 10:30 and afternoon sessions, at 2:30, should you decide to tune in. Sorry, ladies, but your soap operas, it would appear, are being preempted until further notice. Maybe, before it's over, they will make up for it by getting into some murders, attempted poisonings, divorces, petty jealousies, and other such typical fodder of the afternoon soaps. Stay tuned...
Also in Charlotte, Donald MacDonald of The News tells of a 19-year old male arrested for mental observation after police said that he had shot his older sister in the face and back this date with a shotgun and then tried to shoot and drown himself. He told police that he did not know why he had shot his sister, with whom he had lived for about a year after having been a student at a school for underprivileged children in South Carolina. The police said that his mother and another sister lived at the State Training School, an institution for feeble-minded persons, in South Carolina. About three weeks earlier, his brother-in-law had enabled him to obtain a job which paid about $30 per week. His sister, who was in serious condition from her wounds, said that she and her brother had no words at all prior to the shooting, and that she had just returned to the home after taking her child to school. She said that her brother had given her approximately $25 in cash to keep in a safe place for him and the next thing she knew, he was shooting at her for no reason at all.
Perhaps, someone should donate a television set to the family, if they do not have one, so that they can turn to channel 3 and get their minds off their troubles via the Army-McCarthy hearings. You think you got problems, look at these people, your leaders. Sit back, relax, fix yourself up a nice, nourishing and delicious T.V. dinner and see how the other half lives.
Mrs. William Henry Belk of Charlotte had been elected this date to the lifetime post of honorary vice-president general of the Daughters of the American Revolution, chosen in a special runoff election against two other women.
In Chicago, a young husband told police the previous day that as part of his wife's plan to move to California, he had taken her advice and snatched a purse, landing both in jail. He said that his wife had planned to use the stolen identification in the purse to obtain a $500 signature loan, that he was not very fond of the idea but never argued with his wife, and so snatched the purse of the first woman who passed their home. The victim then followed the man to his home and began screaming for help, prompting neighbors to call the police and the man to flee the scene. Police arrested his wife who had the purse and caught the husband two blocks away from the home. He said that he reckoned that they would not be going to California for awhile.
On the editorial page, "Offstreet Parking Amendment a 'Must'" indicates that in its proposed offstreet parking amendment to the zoning ordinance, the City Council was showing a traditional reluctance to undertake controversial issues. The first draft of the amendment had been presented to the Council the prior Wednesday, was discussed briefly and then laid aside for consideration at some indefinite future time. It had become apparent in the short discussion that several members of the Council did not like the proposed amendment and favored a watered-down version or nothing.
It indicates that in the modern era of crowded cities and traffic snarls, the failure to require offstreet parking facilities in the past had proved costly and inconvenient to urban taxpayers, and in larger cities, had resulted in a sharp decrease in property values in downtown areas, usually the most productive source of municipal tax revenues. It was more expensive to try to provide offstreet parking facilities in commercial and business areas already heavily settled, but many cities had been forced to undertake that task, and it was inevitable that Charlotte would have to do so sooner or later. It suggests that the creation of new parking problems at the fringe of the expanding business district of the downtown area and in the new suburban business centers could be avoided by requiring each new business to provide its own offstreet parking facilities according to a fair and reasonable formula, the proposal of the new zoning ordinance amendment.
"Car Inspection Should Be Tried Again" indicates that seven years earlier, the General Assembly had passed a law requiring safety inspections of automobiles, but two years later, had repealed that law primarily because the law had been poorly administered, causing upset of motorists who had to wait for hours in line to have their cars inspected.
It indicates that in 1951, about six percent of the vehicles involved in the 32,500 fatal motor vehicle accidents had one or more unsafe conditions, whether regarding brakes, tires, improperly adjusted or burned out lights or other conditions, thus accounting for about 2,000 fatal accidents. It suggests that a properly administered inspection law in the state would decrease the highway death toll.
Presently, the Motor Vehicles Department commissioner, Ed Scheidt, former FBI agent, was conducting a vigorous campaign of increased enforcement of traffic laws and driver education, reducing the accident and death rates. With that foundation laid, he had expressed the hope that the 1955 General Assembly would pass a new vehicle inspection law and also that traffic fines would be increased beyond the nominal level. He had also indicated that the justice of the peace system in traffic cases, involving collection of costs going into the pocket of the justices of the peace, often corruptly, had been "a disgrace and a blot on the state". It hopes that both improvements would be made by the General Assembly and urges support for the measures by the successful candidates from Mecklenburg County.
"A Way To Solve One Budget Problem" indicates that County commissioner Sam McNinch had called for a job classification system for the County Government, finds it a good proposal though not new, having been endorsed by all of the present members of the Board of County Commissioners as the only feasible way to remove inequities in the present salary schedule and to free the County of recurring pressure for pay increases from disgruntled employees. The County Commissioners were currently working out the details of the budget for the next fiscal year and, it urges, it would be appropriate to implement the job classification proposal, which would meet with overwhelming approval from County employees and taxpayers.
"Dilemma" indicates that Charlotte's Eisenhower Democrats wanted the President to visit the city on May 18, instead of May 20, because the state Democratic convention was to be held in Raleigh on May 20, "you see".
"On Building a Sandbox" tells of doing so with the help of neighborhood youngsters, each of whom seemed to have a better way of doing it than anyone else helping, and after each one was eliminated by the others as being too young for the task, a half-hour project was turned into a two-hour ordeal, before even the sand had been ordered.
Make sure there are no snake eggs, or even bird eggs which might be mistaken for snake eggs, hiding within the sand, masquerading as translucent pebbles ostensibly rounded to form by the mystical waters out of the undulating currents of Life and Time, ready to burst upon your countenance with the stealth of a yegg yoked to rubbery mores, for the mere compressure exerted slightly between thumb and index finger. But in Charlotte, we trow, you will likely not encounter that kind of parlous, hidden time-bomb, which one might if one were a child in a locale in the eastern part of the state, such as Lumberton, next to the snaky swamp.
A piece from the Daily Tar Heel, the UNC student newspaper, titled "Protest, Challenge, Question", indicates that in a recent morning class with Weimar Jones, a visiting journalism lecturer who was editor of the Franklin Press, the students were excited by a male student who declared: "What difference does it make about Indochina? We are all going there to be killed anyway."
The writer believes that there was a significant difference, as reflected in the expressed attitude of the average citizen and that of the average student, that the Government was something far away and unassailable which could not be challenged by those subject to it, "a lonely fatalism which says we are propelled and guided without our consent." The writer finds that people had become conditioned to acceptance of the Government's word regarding Korea, Indo-China, Communism, and atomic energy, not because they agreed with those matters as expressed by the Government but because they felt compelled to do so.
"How little we express ourselves in our democracy. Some of us, silent because we are incapable of articulation, more of us silent because we have become accustomed to feeling that the Government, in matters of war or national emergency, is all wise: when not wise, at least invincible." It urges students to protest, to challenge, to question, and accept nothing only on the basis of its source being the Government. It suggests that in the failure to act, the public might lose its right to know.
It is a noteworthy comment in
1954—possibly one made by newly elected Tar Heel editor
Charles Kuralt, though, upon closer inspection, likely not, as it appeared a week before his first editorial of April 21, still possibly, however, by future Pulitzer Prize winner Edwin Yoder, then associate editor and to become co-editor in 1955-56, albeit probably by outgoing editor Rolfe Neill, eventual publisher, from 1975 to 1997, of the Charlotte Observer, for which he had worked since 1957—, as the same editorial might have appeared, with
equal significance and on the same issues, in 1972, as well as in
most of the intervening years. As the Paris Peace Accords ended U.S.
involvement in Vietnam in January, 1973, that issue, at least, and
the draft, would have been off the table thereafter, supplanted, within four months, by
all of the myriad issues which fell into the hopper under the general
distrust-of-Government, "question authority" rubric,
"Watergate", still persisting to this day as various forms
But we digress…
Somebody, by the way, left the pencil on the edge of the microfilm photographic equipment
Walter Spearman, writing in The State magazine, suggests that Dr. Hugh Talmage Lefler, who had taught history both of North Carolina and the United States to students in the state for 28 years and had written a book about it, in collaboration with the late Dr. Albert Ray Newsome, North Carolina—The History of a Southern State, understood what North Carolina really was. Dr. Lefler, when asked what he considered the essential characteristics of the state were, had responded, "A spirit of independence has characterized North Carolina from the beginning." Several governors under the Proprietors had been forced out of office by angry citizens and on April 12, 1776, the state undertook the first official action for independence from England. From the end of the Revolution until around 1835, the state had been extremely backward economically, socially, and culturally, but between 1835 and 1860, it had surged forward, building railroads and plank roads, enabling old towns to grow and new ones to begin, the establishment of public schools and colleges, and the achievement of national distinction by the University. The state led the world in the production of naval stores for more than a century, was the leading gold state for a half-century, and contributed bright leaf tobacco to the world.
Following the Civil War, the state had gone through a sleepy period, but in the Twentieth Century, came another surge of progress as it developed into the "Good Roads State" as well as the nation's leading producer of tobacco, textiles, and wooden furniture. In many respects, it had become the leading state of the South in both agriculture and industry.
Dr. Lefler went on to say that the state had always been essentially a region of small farms and politically more democratic than most states, less aristocratic than either Virginia or South Carolina and less dominated by plantation aristocracy. It had been a state of low per capita income because of the large number of small subsistence farms and because its leading industries generally paid low wages. It had overemphasized cotton and tobacco growing and did not have enough food-processing industries to raise the per capita income. It lacked a first-class port, such as Norfolk or Charleston, and a good east-west railway. It had the most dangerous coastline on the Atlantic and the handicaps of nature had made transportation difficult, accounting for few foreign-born immigrants to the state.
He indicated, however, that the state was beginning to wake up, as there was great stress in the latter chapters of the book on the economic and social progress in the state during the Twentieth Century. He said that he and Dr. Newsome had not sought in the book to debunk history but rather had tried to present an accurate narrative of the origin and growth of the state, its institutions and people, letting the past speak for itself with numerous brief, pertinent quotations from active participants in the development of the state. On such controversial topics as the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, the War of Regulation, Andrew Jackson's Independence, the War of the birthplace of Mr. Jackson, and North Carolina's role in the Civil War, they had tried to present the facts and not revise history. The same was true of political parties, trying to be fair and unbiased in presenting the Federalists, the anti-Federalists, the Whigs and the Democrats, later the Democrats and the Republicans, as well as the divisions within those parties. They had used the words "liberal" and "conservative", but found the situation in the state often fluid, with conservatives being liberal and liberals being conservative on certain issues.
They had sought to depict history through the leaders of the state, not only the political and military leaders, but also the agricultural, industrial, religious, educational and cultural leaders. They had sought, above all else, to show how millions of North Carolinians had lived and made a living during the course of three centuries.
Dr. Lefler indicated to Mr. Spearman his belief that the complete appendices of the work would be particularly useful, listing the chief executives of the state from Ralph Lane to current Governor William B. Umstead, the counties and their county seats, the 1950 population and significant dates through the state's history.
Dr. Lefler had been selected as Tar Heel of the Week by the Raleigh News & Observer several years earlier, and the previous fall, had been the recipient of one of the Cannon Awards for his notable contributions to North Carolina history. He had said in the preface of the book that his two sons had missed some fishing trips with their father while he had been doing the research, writing and indexing of the work, indicative, observes Mr. Spearman, of where his heart lay.
Drew Pearson indicates that the present whereabouts of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer appeared to be as carefully guarded a secret as had been the development of the atomic bomb during the war. Five Life magazine photographers and newspaper reporters had been searching for him, but thus far had not been able to discover his whereabouts. His attorney, Lloyd Garrison, was just as mysterious, shunning hotels in favor of staying at a private residence, going occasionally to the law office of his partner, prompting photographers to wait for him at that office and tail him home. The hearings regarding the atomic scientist, who had been suspended by the Atomic Energy Commission pending a loyalty investigation conducted by the three-man Presidential commission, were also being conducted in secret. It had leaked, however, that the board, chaired by UNC president Gordon Gray, had been giving him a tough time, first objecting to his having released publicly the text of his reply to the AEC charges, despite it having been stated in writing that he had the right to do so. The White House was reportedly upset also about that release, apparently expecting him to be as the abstemious monkeys.
Reportedly, two key witnesses at the hearing had been General Leslie Groves, wartime head of the Manhattan Project, and General Fred Osborn, the American delegate to the U.N. Commission on Atomic Energy, both of whom had testified favorably regarding Dr. Oppenheimer, General Osborn having testified that when he had first been appointed to the U.N. Commission, he had been warned by Dr. Oppenheimer that the Soviets were attempting to steal the secret of the atomic bomb and to be on his guard.
Pentagon reports persisted that a deal was in the works to save face for Senator McCarthy, whereby Roy Cohn would be fired as counsel for the subcommittee and John G. Adams would also be fired as counsel for the Army. While Mr. Adams was in the clear in terms of any impropriety, he had a tendency to wisecrack in a way which did not sound good on recordings of wiretaps, some of which would be released during the Army-McCarthy hearings, potentially embarrassing to the Army.
Senator Karl Mundt had announced that the charges against the Army, Mr. Cohn and Senator McCarthy covered "no acts of corruption punishable by law". Senator Mundt had studied public speaking in college, and was presently president of the National Forensic League, editor of The Rostrum and associate editor of The Speaker, but was not a legal expert, and, suggests Mr. Pearson, should obtain the services of one to determine how many laws Mr. Cohn, the Senator and the Army may have violated, that if he did so, he would find that there were no fewer than 13 different statutes involved. He proceeds to examine potential violations under sections 1505, 1913, 371, 201, 202, 215 and 872 of the United States Code, involving, in order, threats or force "to influence, intimidate or impede any witness in any proceeding" in connection with any inquiry or investigation being held by either house of Congress or any committee thereof, use of Government funds to pay for personal services intended or designed to influence a member of Congress, conspiracy for the purpose of "impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful functions of any department of government", offering any "thing of value" to influence a government department or a Congressional committee, offering a job for the purpose of influencing a Government official, and extortion. In reference to each such statute, he specifies conduct by one or more of Senator McCarthy, Mr. Cohn or Mr. Adams, which Mr. Pearson suggests might have offended each statute.
Doris Fleeson examines the dispute between Senator McCarthy and the Army, indicating that a member of the subcommittee, who remains nameless, had sent out routinely, in response to the many inquiries regarding the matter, the following: "I am grateful for your interest but I know of no way to set up rules which will insure that the bull in the china shop will break only the blue china." It was a way of expressing that which the subcommittee members accepted as fact, that any U.S. Senator was hard to restrain at best and Senator McCarthy, who had shown no internal controls, was next to impossible to control, rules or no rules.
The Democrats on the subcommittee had a strategy of maintaining transparency throughout the hearings, opposing any executive sessions, and affording both sides equal rights. The only unknown quantities regarding the hearings were the newly appointed special counsel for the subcommittee, Ray Jenkins, from the Tennessee mountains, and the effect which Senator McCarthy's late diversionary attack on Assistant Defense Secretary H. Struve Hensel would have on the proceedings.
Mr. Jenkins could become a popular voice of conscience during the hearings, in the same way that the late Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire had been during the Kefauver crime committee hearings on organized crime across the country in 1950-51. Mr. Jenkins had a homespun personality which suited his role, having told the people back home that he had come down to Washington from the mountains to get the truth. It was to his advantage that he was a fresh face around Washington.
Mr. Hensel had important Navy posts during both the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations, had departed Washington in 1946 but returned as general counsel to the Defense Department in 1953 and was then appointed by the President the prior February 17 as Assistant Defense Secretary. Senator McCarthy had accused him of using his position to enrich himself during wartime. In a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, Mr. Hensel had written to President Eisenhower an article telling how wonderful it was to be in the Defense Department under Republican control, comparing it positively to his past experiences under Democrats.
Robert C. Ruark, in Nairobi, Kenya, finds the city to be perhaps the toughest town in the world at present, after more than a year of being the center of the unofficial war against the Mau Mau, whose central goal was to eliminate, by all means, including bloody violence, all white people from Kenya. Kenya had always been known as tough, settled by tough people who lived hard and drank heavily, occasionally shooting each other or themselves in a fit of high spirits, especially prevalent on Saturday nights. But with the Mau Mau reign of terror, it had become "a real rooty-tooter", with the ordinary tendency toward rowdiness exacerbated by nervous tension, overcrowding and the presence of troops, police, reserve soldiers and refugee families. He found everyone angry, the settlers being mad at the British Government, the army, the legislative assembly, and each other. Everyone also was nervous because everyone knew someone who had gotten their head chopped off and because one could not live in "such an atmosphere of strain without a frazzling of your internal wiring". There was no clear road to the settlement of what had begun small and had turned into a full-scale war.
He recounts that the day he had arrived, a little white girl had been chopped to death inside the town, and the next day, an old friend had shot himself. During the morning on which he was writing the piece, the area to the rear of his hotel had been riddled with gunfire. Everyone carried a gun because one was apt to need it and if one lost one's gun, the person faced jail for six months.
The economy of Kenya had been harmed as the problems had begun to spread to other tribes and surrounding countries, not only because of the Mau Mau issue but also because of drought, turning what had once been a quite tranquil countryside upside down. The men were either on commando raids or trying to work their crops short-handedly as the women, packing guns, were trying to carry on while the men were away. Yet, growth of the city had spread, with unbelievable traffic and new buildings, plus plentiful inflation to go along with it.
There was also despair accompanying the anger as there appeared to be no clear way out of the mess, with the most recent attempt at settlement by the Government having been abandoned as useless. The populace were drinking more, bickering more and weeping more. It was a sad city, even if nearly everyone donned a dinner jacket on Saturday nights and went forth to tear up the town.
A letter from the president of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters expresses appreciation to the newspaper for its consistent cooperation throughout the year in contributing to their purpose of promoting political responsibility through the informed and active participation of citizens in government.
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