The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 8, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles, in his statement the previous night by nationwide television and radio regarding Indo-China and the Geneva peace conference, had indicated that the Administration was considering defense commitments for Southeast Asia, in the wake of the fall of the fortress at Dien Bien Phu in Indo-China the previous day, those commitments possibly involving the use of armed force to block Communist conquest, but having also indicated that under "present conditions", there was no intention to send U.S. forces to fight because "a suitable basis" for such action was not present.

The President summoned a meeting of the National Security Council this date for an unannounced purpose, likely to discuss the situation in Indo-China.

In Paris, residents who gathered to celebrate V-E Day, ending World War II in Europe, booed and shouted insults at Premier Joseph Laniel and Defense Minister Rene Pleven, saying such things as, "Send him to Dien Bien Phu," as the Premier's limousine stopped at France's tomb of the unknown soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe. Others said, "Shoot him." When M. Pleven drove by, they hissed and shouted, "resign, resign" and "shame on him". Only a small amount of applause greeted popular President Rene Coty, 71, when he arrived, usually receiving ample applause. Police arrested at least two of the demonstrators. Among the angry spectators were a large number of veterans of the Indo-China war. An elderly French woman commented that it was supposed to be a victory celebration, but was "a hell of a victory".

There was speculation that Premier Laniel's Government might fall as a result of the defeat. In Saigon, General Henri Navarre, commander of the French forces in Indo-China, issued an order of the day saying, "the fight continues" despite the serious setback. A Vietminh broadcast monitored in Hong Kong claimed that the commander of the fallen fortress, Brig. General Christian de Castries, though not referring to him by name, along with about 17 companies of French Union troops, had been taken captive by the Vietminh. In Peiping, the Chinese Communist radio claimed that the attacking Vietminh had annihilated nearly 2,000 French Union troops who had tried to break out of the southern outpost protecting the fortress, dubbed "Isabelle". It was not known what happened to the estimated 1,000 wounded who had been confined to the fortress for their evacuation having been blocked by the Vietminh's refusal to permit a truce to enable air transport to land at the nearby besieged airfield.

At Geneva, the French delegation accused the Communists of stalling negotiations regarding Indo-China until the fortress had fallen. The peace talks regarding Indo-China had been scheduled to start this date, but the fall of the fortress had caused last-minute strategy sessions. Both Western and Communist delegates, however, expressed the belief that the opening meeting would be held during the afternoon. It was understood that the opening session would primarily consist of organizing the talks regarding the phase of the conference dealing with peace in Indo-China. The Western delegates did not expect to receive any clue from the Communist delegations as to their stance until the second session, as had been the case regarding the portion of the conference on Korea, which had ended without positive results.

The Catholic newspaper in Paris, Le Figaro, indicated that the only hope remaining was that the tragedy of Dien Bien Phu would give the "conscience of the free world a decisive shock" and that a "united front of the whole Western world" would find the strength at Geneva to enable conclusion of a peace. The pro-Communist Liberation said that Geneva should provide a chance to reverse French policy and negotiate an honorable peace which would greatly contribute to elimination of the errors of a "fratricidal war".

In London, the Times urged the free world to pause to pay tribute to the heroic defenders of the fortress, as well as to the French nation as a whole. The Daily Telegraph urged that even those mercifully unacquainted with such an ordeal could realize "what a feat of arms, what a triumph of spirit over body the defense" of the fortress had been. The Daily Mail said that whatever the consequences of the setback, the British people saluted the heroism of General De Castries and his men, both French and Vietnamese. The Communist Daily Worker said that the capture of the fortress was "the most striking defeat so far of the American plan for Asians to fight Asians" and that it presented a tremendous opportunity for peace negotiations.

The Senate Finance Committee reportedly had decided tentatively to allow income taxpayers a larger deduction for medical expenses, a provision already approved by the House, permitting deduction of medical costs above 3 percent of income, instead of the current 5 percent. The Committee was also reported to have agreed to double the ceiling on medical deductions, raising them to $2,500 for an individual and $10,000 for a family. The changes were said to benefit about 8.5 million taxpayers and save them about 80 million dollars per year, in other words, less than $10 apiece. You can probably use that $10 of saved taxes, following your heart surgery, and buy yourself an acre of land in the desert on which to recover. Remember, kids, Republicans always have your interests at heart.

Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois said this date that he would ask the Senate Investigations subcommittee for a showdown vote the following Monday, the next session of the hearings in the McCarthy-Army dispute, regarding "a concrete proposal" which, if adopted, would end the hearings soon. He declined to provide details of his proposal, but Republican members of an inquiry group at a secret meeting the previous night with the Republican policy committee members indicated that it would entail limiting further testimony primarily to Senator McCarthy and Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens. An unnamed Senator said that while Secretary Stevens was resisting such limitations, some compromise might be reached during the weekend. Army special counsel Joseph Welch, who had turned down a similar proposal earlier in the week, refused to indicate in advance the Defense Department's position on Senator Dirksen's proposal, but said he believed the hearings would be completed before the end of May. Senator John McClellan, the ranking member among the three Democrats on the subcommittee, stated that there would likely be opposition to any such move.

In New York, Congressman Martin Dies of Texas, who before and during World War II had been chairman of HUAC, said that the Army-McCarthy hearings tended to make Congress look "ridiculous" and that he was "disgusted" with it. That, coming from a man who chaired a Committee which had a member who once wanted to call on the carpet Kit Marlowe as a suspected Communist—not without indirect connection through time to both the later incarnation of HUAC in 1947-48 when Congressman Richard Nixon was a prominent new member of it, and with Senator McCarthy, as the playwright being interrogated at the time of the faux pas by Congressman Joseph Starnes was Hallie Flanagan, who was among the advisers to the international student exchange program in 1935, with which Edward R. Murrow had been associated along with other prominent educators, and over which Mr. Murrow had been taken to task the prior March 11 by Senator McCarthy for that program supposedly having encouraged Communist indoctrination of the participating students by the fact of planned summer study in Moscow, later canceled by the Soviets.

Rowland Evans, Jr., reports that in an unusual display of solidarity, Senate Democrats had apparently been able to end any prospect of revision of Taft-Hartley during the current Congress, as Southern and Northern Democrats, normally at odds, had joined together to recommit the revision bill to the Senate Labor Committee in a 50 to 42 vote. The President had sought, in a message of January 11 to Congress, 14 changes to the Taft-Hartley law, passed over President Truman's veto in 1947, President Eisenhower having stated that the legislation was basically sound. The recommitted bill had generally carried out the President's wishes, although several amendments had been offered which went beyond his recommendations, including anti-discrimination proposals sponsored by Senators Herbert Lehman and Irving Ives of New York, and another which would have prevented filibuster of the anti-discrimination amendments, those amendments having won Southern support for recommittal. All 48 Democratic Senators voted for recommittal, joined by Republican Senators William Langer and Milton Young of North Dakota, George Malone of Nevada and independent Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon. After it had become apparent that the Democrats had won the vote, two Southern Democrats, Senators Burnet Maybank of South Carolina and James Eastland of Mississippi, withdrew their affirmative votes and agreed to pair with absent Republican Senators William Jenner and Homer Capehart, resulting in the final margin.

The Congress sent the St. Lawrence Seaway bill to the President for his signature, following its passage by the House the prior Thursday, already approved by the Senate in January, with minor differences in the bills having been rapidly resolved—as discussed further in an editorial below. Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois noted that the bill did not provide for deepening of the Detroit River so that deep-draft boats could move into Lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota said that the next step would be to extend the Seaway to Lake Superior and Duluth, the twin harbors of Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In Chicago, a new organization, "For America", was founded to "combat supra-internationalism and communism", indicating that it would be involved in the fall Congressional elections. The founders said that it was not a new political party but would fight within both parties to elect members of Congress who had the same principles as the new group. The host of the luncheon at which it was formed was isolationist editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, Col. Robert McCormick. In recent months, the Tribune had been publishing a series of articles reporting the sentiments among people throughout the nation in favor of political realignment. Co-chairmen of the new group were Clarence Manion, former dean of the University of Notre Dame Law School, and Robert Wood, retired chairman of Sears. Mr. Wood had headed the "America First" committee, which had opposed U.S. involvement in World War II prior to Pearl Harbor. Mr. Manion had resigned as head of a Government commission after speaking in favor of the Bricker amendment, designed to alter and place controls on the Constitution's treaty-making power. Members of the organizing committee were former Senator from Montana Burton Wheeler, New York author John Flynn, former Nebraska Congressman Howard Buffett, former New York Congressman Hamilton Fish, and Mr. Manion. Mr. Fish had told newsmen that the new organization was not a third party, but would be nonpartisan, taking an active role in the Congressional elections.

In London, the British Foreign Office announced this date that it had ordered the expulsion of two Russian diplomats because of attempted espionage, giving them ten days to exit the country. The spokesman said that atomic secrets were not involved and that other details would not be released either publicly or to the Russians, other than that the two men had attempted to spy on unspecified military activities in Britain.

On his 70th birthday, former President Truman was described as being chipper as ever and busy with preparations for building his library in Independence, Mo., in Washington to attend the Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner and a fund-raising reception sponsored by the District of Colombia Committee for the Harry S. Truman Library, held the previous night.

In Denver, a 30-year old cowboy was seeking $201,500 in damages based on his claim that a cow had fallen on him the prior January while working on a ranch and that the owners of the ranch had recklessly and negligently handled and failed to control the cow, that when he attempted to throw it on the ground, it had fallen on him and broken his leg. Cowboys assume the risk. That's why they are called cowboys and not pansies.

On the editorial page, "The Men of Dien Bien Phu" indicates that most Americans, it suspects, had heard with mixed emotions the news of the fall of the French fortress in Indo-China, on the one hand admiring the courage and stamina of the French and Vietnamese troops who had held off for 57 days the continuing assault by the Vietminh, despite a weakened Government at home in Paris, beset by dissension and military strategists who had made the position of the defenders of the fortress untenable. But on the other hand, there had to be dismay that the free world, after the historic example of Korea and the subsequent talk by Secretary of State Dulles of "united action" in Indo-China, had failed to agree on a plan of direct military assistance for the fortress. There also had to be uncertainty regarding the psychological results of the defeat, not only for France but for all of Southeast Asia, provoking memories of Munich in 1938, Bataan in 1942, and the "loss" of China in 1949, as well as humiliation at the awareness that the defenders of the fortress had really been fighting for the free world. There was likewise the probable feeling of concern for the survivors, if there were any, who faced cruelty, torture and brainwashing by their Communist captors, if the situation resembled that of Korea. There would also be a feeling of determination that somehow the sacrifice should not have been in vain.

"Yes, Dien Bien Phu has fallen. But the gallant fight will not have been in vain if the epic display of raw courage renews the faith of the free world in the cause of human freedom, and creates the will to resist further Communist aggression."

"At Last, the Seaway Nears Reality" indicates that the St. Lawrence Seaway had first been conceived seriously in 1895, had the support of Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. It had been backed by business, industrial and agricultural interests in the Midwest, but had been fought by the railroads, the Atlantic and Gulf ports, coal producers and private power utilities. The arguments for and against it had been reiterated by each side until they had worn thin.

Until the current week, the bill to enable the U.S. to join Canada in construction of the Seaway could never pass Congress, but on Thursday, the House had voted for the measure previously approved by the Senate, such that only minor details had to be worked out in the reconciliation conference before the bill would become law. President Eisenhower's insistence on the Seaway as a national defense necessity had finally tipped the scales in its favor. He had voiced concern over the depletion of iron ore reserves in the Mesabi Range in the Lake Superior region, whereas there was plentiful ore in Labrador where new fields were ready to be tapped, the Seaway permitting cheap transportation to obtain that ore for the steelmaking centers of the Great Lakes region. Another barrier to its passage had been removed by the separation in the bill of power generation from the Seaway project, itself, accomplished when Congress authorized New York to join with the Province of Ontario to construct a 600 million dollar hydroelectric project at the site of the rapids near Ogdensburg, N.Y.

Proponents of the project believed that its construction would cause a major industrial and commercial revolution throughout the Midwest, and the piece indicates they were likely correct, as the Seaway would produce a basic change in the transportation pattern of that area, one of the dominant factors governing industrial development. Canada had been prepared to proceed unilaterally on construction of the Seaway, a prospect which found support among many Americans, but it was better, ventures the piece, to make it a joint venture and thereby cement relations between Canada and the U.S.

"Let 'Em Eat Each Other Up" indicates that McCarthyism was coming home to roost, that Senator McCarthy and his followers, long suspicious of those who opposed them, were now getting suspicious of each other. During the current hearings, the Senator had denounced and questioned the motives of several persons who had formerly supported him.

And the current issue of Headlines, published by Joseph Kamp's Constitutional Educational League, had attacked Counterattack, another right-wing publication, under the headline, "Even Counterattack Helped Foes of McCarthy and McCarthyism", going on to say that the publication had built up certain "Socialist Reds", helping the cause of Marxism, suppressing certain items which would have exposed Communist infiltration and techniques, thereby contributing somewhat to the success of Communism.

One of the right-wing organizations, the Congress of Freedom, had met in Omaha recently and a major dispute erupted among the delegates, one of whom, Sally Stratton, had written in her syndicated column that while everyone agreed that the U.S. ought to get out of the U.N., abolish the draft, repeal the income tax amendment and pass the Bricker amendment, other issues created pandemonium, as when the delegates at the conference accused one another of being "hatchet men", causing her to observe that there was little hope of success for an organization whose foundation was built upon "suspicion, selfishness and jealousy."

It indicates that the superpatriots ought have other conventions soon so that they would quit bothering reasonable folks and, "like Pogo's acquaintances Senor Macaroni and Joe Malarkey, who remarkably resembled a couple of senators, go off in a corner of the swamp and eat each other up."

That's a good suggestion for the Trumpies now bent on rewriting history and taking over the Republican Party, despite having resoundingly been rejected by the electorate in the last two elections, not to mention that of 2016. Candidly, we don't give a damn, as the more divided the "conservative" coalition, forming the Republican Party in modern times, becomes, the better the country is for it, in terms of preservation of its liberal traditions.

"On to the Moon and Mars" indicates that since Mount Everest had been scaled a year earlier, the sound barrier broken in 1947, and the atom split in 1945, plus other such accomplishments, including pole vaulters clearing 15 feet and more, the goals which man had set for himself had been achieved. Another had fallen during the week when Roger Bannister of England had eclipsed the four-minute mile mark, running it at 3:59.4 in Oxford. He was, as most of the other ground-breakers, modest at his accomplishment, saying that he thought the four-minute mile had been "overrated", and that others had made his feat possible, naming Chataway and Brasher, who had paced him in the race for the first three laps.

It observes that the previous year, Hillary and Tensing had expressed similar sentiments when they had been the first to reach the peak of Everest. It suggests that there were many more such feats to be achieved. "On to the moon, Mars, cancer cures, the seven foot high jump, and peace."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Standing Custom", tells of a letter written by Walter Pritchard Eaton and Albert Coates, director of the North Carolina Institute of Government, advocating a "crusade against the idea that a man must always stand up when a lady enters the room", addressed to the recently retired editor and publisher of the Chapel Hill Weekly, Louis Graves.

It suggests that the letter might have something, but doubted it. The two men had been led to their conclusion by the observation of a lady in the Carolina Inn Cafeteria pausing to chat at a table where a couple were seated, prompting the man to rise and stand there helpless while the two women chatted as his food got cold. It indicates that the woman, no doubt, had suggested that he be seated, but he felt that it would be ungentlemanly to do so, just as he felt it would be ungentlemanly not to rise in the first place. It finds that every man had been caught in that circumstance, one which was not pleasant, usually causing the intruder to realize the inconvenience and to depart quickly, some consolation to the person who felt it necessary to stand. It suggests that the custom was cumbersome and awkward, but that the alternative of remaining seated when a lady entered the room was equally awkward. It indicates that it did not like cold food or standing in silly poses while women talked, but did like the distinctions between men and women even if they were a hangover from the age of chivalry when society kept a woman in her place by pretending she was a queen. It concludes that it did not mind standing on occasion, "if only to get the cranks out of our bones."

All of that sort of chivalry went out the window in the Sixties with the advent of the miniskirt, the reasons for which end are best left to the imagination. But if you were there, especially in the salubrious wake of the Kennedy Administration's Council on Physical Fitness, later unfortunately downplayed by President Nixon, you will understand.

Drew Pearson indicates that when 16 Congressmen from the Tennessee Valley states had departed the White House recently, they had appointed Congressman Jere Cooper of Tennessee to issue a press statement that their conference with the President had been amicable, when actually the opposite had been true. The President had changed the subject every time the Congressmen sought to address the issue of reappointment of Gordon Clapp as TVA administrator, such as then beginning to talk about fishing. They desired Mr. Clapp's reappointment as he had been a nonpolitical career man who had worked his way up the ladder to become head of TVA, but the only commitment which the President would make would be that his appointment to the vacancy on the board would be nonpartisan. He stated that he was inclined to favor the position that the states and local communities should handle their own power problems without intervention by the Federal Government, that such policy should not necessarily be applied to the whole country, that a local partnership between private power companies and municipalities was the best solution where, as in the case of the Tennessee Valley, a river ran through several states. He said that he had received several letters from private power companies complaining about the competition of Government power projects.

A Tulane University surgeon, Dr. Alton Ochsner, had told Mr. Pearson of an experience he had with the Associated Press four years earlier, when he had linked lung cancer to cigarette smoking, providing a careful analysis of the causation before a cancer conference in Denver in 1950, demonstrating the tremendous increase of lung cancer among cigarette smokers, prompting a reporter from the Associated Press to ask him for a copy of the speech, which he would put on the wire. But within 20 minutes, recounted Dr. Ochsner, the reporter apologized and said that his office would not stand for it, the implication having been that the cigarette advertisers would object. Mr. Pearson hopes that press associations now would be less considerate of advertisers and more considerate of public health, but provides some of the statements made by Dr. Ochsner on television the previous weekend. The doctor found a direct parallel between lung cancer and cigarette smoking, that both increased at the same rate, and that lung cancer had surpassed other types of cancers in recent years, that there had been an attempt to blame air pollution, but he was certain that air pollution had nothing to do with it. He imparted that Washington University in St. Louis had used a robot machine which smoked cigarettes just as a human being and used it to apply smoke to animals, finding that after two years, 44 percent of the animals had a cancer where the smoke had been applied, indistinguishable from the cancer observed in humans. He said that wherever studies had been conducted, including Holland, Denmark, and England, the same results were found regarding the direct relationship between lung cancer and cigarette smoking. He said that studies demonstrated that many boys began smoking at the age of nine or ten, whereas they had once begun at around age 20, leading to peak incidence of lung cancer at between ages 50 and 55, instead of 65, as had formerly been the case. After age 55, incidence of lung cancer was reduced because an individual who had been a heavy cigarette smoker for a number of years subjected the heart and blood vessels to the deleterious effects of tobacco and was likely instead to develop coronary thrombosis and die before developing lung cancer. He had also found that pipe and cigar smokers did not develop lung cancer because they did not inhale, but got cancer of the lip, tongue or mouth.

The editors include a statement from the Associated Press, replying to Mr. Pearson's charge as conveyed by Dr. Ochsner, indicating that no exact dates had been provided as to when the incident recalled by the story had occurred, and no one who would handle such a story could recall any controversy having arisen regarding the cigarette industry objecting to association of cigarette smoking with lung cancer or of killing any story attributed to a responsible source such as Dr. Ochsner. It indicates that the facts were that the surgeon had been quoted frequently and extensively by the Associated Press since 1950 and before that time on the subject of cancer and cigarettes, that on July 17, 1950, the A.P. had carried a lengthy dispatch from Paris written by its science writer, Alton Blakeslee, quoting Dr. Ochsner and two other U.S. scientists regarding their analysis of cigarettes and lung cancer before the Fifth International Research Congress, blaming smoking of cigarettes as an apparent cause of at least part of the increase in the incidence of lung cancer. He had also been quoted liberally in other A.P. stories on the subject since that time, including the full-scale summary of the lung cancer-cigarette situation reported by Charles Mercer of the A.P. the prior January 24.

Query why YouTube age-restricts a short, completely salutary film which links lung cancer to cigarette smoking, as linked above. Someone is out to lunch, or secretly on the payroll of big tobacco. That it shows a couple of minutes of actual thoracic surgery is only grounds for growing up and realizing that the human body has limits, not restricting who may see the film, the better for the young who might be prone to take up smoking. A committee of morons producing "community standards", based on a mindless checklist, is no smarter than its stupidest moron.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of General Sir Gerald Templer, the British commander who had turned the tide in the struggle against Malaya's Communist guerrillas, having told the Alsops six months earlier that a Communist victory in Indo-China would cause, within a short time, a major war in Malaya, that the support for the jungle guerrillas, which the British had been able to cut almost to nothing, would immediately and greatly increase in such a way that they could not stop it. While the morale of the Communists in Malaya was at rock bottom at present, it would immediately surge to a new high, he continued, as their slogan was, "Father Mao is coming to give us the victory." He said that the previous year, they could see that the Communist invasion of Laos had encouraged the Communists in Malaya, and that a real victory in Indo-China would trigger the need for three additional British divisions in Malaya to keep the situation there from getting out of control, producing what he regarded as a major war.

When he had spoken to the Alsops the previous November, he was making his forecast based on a hypothetical which was then remote, but now that forecast had reached immediate and practical importance, as a surrender of Indo-China to the Communists was clearly in the making at Geneva. Only U.S. intervention could prevent it.

Malaya was only one country involved in the aftermath of such a surrender, with Indonesia, for example, having only a small minority of Communists, albeit having deeply penetrated the ruling party there, the Nationalists. In recent months, an anti-Communist coalition between the Nationalists who opposed the Communists and the powerful Moslem party, the Masjumi, had appeared to be a likely prospect, the only practical way in which Indonesia could be saved from the threat of Communism. That hopeful trend, however, would be reversed should the forces of freedom in Asia submit to a decisive defeat in Indo-China, ultimately leading to Communist control of Indonesia. In Burma, the struggle with the Communists was closely balanced, with the present Burmese Government strongly anti-Communist, but personally closer than any other Asian leaders to Prime Minister Nehru of India. At the recent Colombo Conference in Ceylon, however, they had taken the lead in opposing Nehru's proposal for Indochinese appeasement. But Burma, indicate the Alsops, also could not survive the shock of loss of Indo-China to the Communists, and Burma was South Asia's other key to the entire region, in addition to Indo-China.

They recall another conversation had in Tokyo with the head of the equivalent of the U.S. National Association of Manufacturers, Ichiro Ishikawa, in which he was discussing how to prevent the Communist Chinese from using trade to promote Communism in Japan, saying, in answer to their question, that a Communist victory in Indo-China and generally in South Asia would cause all of Japan, for its survival, to become Communist.

Thus, the Alsops conclude that Malaya, Burma, Indonesia, Thailand and then Japan would eventually fall to the Communists with the surrender of Indo-China. Such an upset in the world balance of power could not occur without forcing on the free world the same choice forced on British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain at Munich in 1938, where he did not dare to stop a chain reaction of disaster before it got started. They indicate that it was therefore not hard to understand why Secretary of State Dulles and Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford were still struggling so desperately to prevent the surrender to the Communists of Indo-China, even after it had begun to appear all but inevitable.

Marquis Childs, in Geneva, indicates that the differences between the U.S. and the other Western allies regarding the course to follow with respect to Indo-China had been sharp during the previous ten days, much sharper than the amiable language of public speech-making would indicate. Most of the allies in both Europe and Asia believed it was necessary to recognize the fact of Communist control of mainland China and the necessity of altering power which that represented. But the dominant view in the U.S., both in Congress and the executive branch, was exactly the opposite, that Communist China should be isolated and the regime broken down. Admiral Radford favored coastal blockade over a long period, 50 years if necessary, to prevent industrial and military development in mainland China, a view also held by Assistant Secretary of State Robertson, in charge of Far Eastern Affairs, as well as by Senate Majority Leader William Knowland and many other influential Republicans and Democrats.

Among the British and other Commonwealth powers represented at Geneva, a strong suspicion existed that intervention to save Indo-China would be only a first step in a larger Asian war against Communist China, as they believed that such intervention would trigger, as it had in Korea, direct intervention by the Communist Chinese. The U.S. believed that suspicion unjustified, but it had been an important factor in the urgent discussions which the public had never heard. The Communists wanted to isolate America while winning away its allies, and if the Communists pursued that strategy at Geneva, it would have a greater chance of success than at any time since the end of World War II.

The President's press conference statement the previous week, in which he favored a "modus vivendi" with Communism in Southeast Asia, might have altered the U.S. position. To that point, American officials at Geneva had been privately berating the British for refusing to go along with intervention in Indo-China, but the delegates to whom Mr. Childs had talked in the wake of the President's statement were recalling that it had been less than two weeks earlier that Vice-President Nixon had said that it might be necessary to send in U.S. ground troops in the event the French were to withdraw, as Communism had to be stopped in Indo-China.

The U.S. had been providing war matériel for the French at the rate of 800 million dollars worth per year and it might be possible to retrieve part of that matériel before it fell into the hands of the Communists. Tentative discussions on that prospect were already being held at Geneva. After China had fallen to the Communists, vast amounts of American guns, ammunition and supplies had been acquired by the Communists, then eventually turned over to Ho Chi Minh's guerrillas in Indo-China. Increasingly, it had appeared to U.S. allies that the country was setting out to put down Communism by force of arms rather than through understanding the necessity to win over the allegiance of the peoples by slow, painstaking effort directed to future decades, not just a few years. Mr. Childs observes that such a perception was unfair in that it underrated the far-reaching assistance programs of the U.S.

Doris Fleeson indicates that former President Truman, who had just turned 70, had his faith comfortably intact, his spirit free and his roots as steadfastly as ever in American soil. She found that he had mellowed under this new freedom such that those who looked to him for counsel and advice heard his confidence in the ultimate good judgment of the American people. She found his lack of bitterness the more remarkable because of the sharpness of the attacks against him, which continued even after his term of office had ended more than a year earlier. His relaxed attitude and good humor arose not so much from sentimentality as from his admitted shrewdness as a down-to-earth politician who had made one of the greatest comebacks in political history in 1948.

Ms. Fleeson finds that what he thought and said was of importance because he was still a living force in national politics, a fact as disagreeable to some Democrats as to Republicans. While not engaging in personalities, it was not a secret that he believed a certain poetic justice was at work in the present troubles of the Eisenhower Administration, which he felt was doing badly. He regarded the President's troubles in Indo-China to be a reflection of the same problems which had beset him in China and Korea. He indicated, however, a wide area of agreement with Republicans regarding the Army-McCarthy hearings, that it was "one of the most disgraceful things" which had ever happened in the Senate. He believed that the fact that it was public, if it had to happen, was a good thing. He quoted President Lincoln, that you could fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but could not fool all the people all the time, adding that when the people knew the facts, they could not be fooled, which was why he had made his whistle-stop campaigns.

Ms. Fleeson concludes that, while he had fooled all of the political prophets in 1948, he declined to be one with regard to the 1954 midterm elections.

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