The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 2, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President, at his press conference, said this date that his Administration had an impressive list of accomplishments in fighting Communism and subversion. He made public a Justice Department report listing what he called the accomplishments of the Administration during its first 16 months in office, saying that the effort against Communism and the constant surveillance of Communists was being carried on constantly by appropriate Federal agencies in conformance with due process and the laws, done "quietly and relentlessly", and that those who knew best its effectiveness were the Communists, themselves. After virtually banning questions regarding the issue of executive department members providing information to Senator McCarthy, as he had demanded, one journalist had asked him whether he felt that Senator McCarthy was hurting the Administration's legislative program, prompting a look of sharp annoyance from the President, at which point, after a pause, he turned away and indicated his readiness for the next question.

In the 25th day of hearings before the Senate Investigations subcommittee regarding the dispute between the Army and Senator McCarthy, the McCarthy camp contended that the Army had failed to produce all of its monitored telephone calls, prompting the Senator to state that without them, none of them should be utilized in the hearings. He said he had no objection to all of them being placed in evidence, even if illegally obtained. He objected, however, to any of them being used unless all were introduced. A motion was before the subcommittee, presented by Senator Stuart Symington, to order the immediate introduction of the calls, objection to which was raised by usual chief counsel of the subcommittee, Roy Cohn, who was in the midst of his testimony before the subcommittee. It had been disclosed early during the hearings that a stenographer in the office of Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens usually listened in on an extension to conversations and customarily transcribed a record thereof. Secretary Stevens said that the purpose of the transcripts had been so that any requests made to him by telephone could be handled expeditiously and with clear understanding of the particular request. The issue had arisen as to whether the transcripts of conversations with Senator McCarthy and his aides should be introduced into the hearings. Mr. Cohn had objected that not all of the transcripts had been provided to Ray Jenkins, the special counsel for the subcommittee during the hearings. To the objection, Army special counsel Joseph Welch responded that production of some of the transcripts had been barred by the President's executive order which forbade testimony or provision of documents to Congress concerning private conversations had in the executive branch. Mr. Cohn said he specifically remembered one telephone conversation with Secretary Stevens, occurring September 28, which had not been included in the transcripts provided by the Army. Mr. Welch said that every call which was monitored and not subject to the President's order would be produced, and also stated that if a particular call was taken by the Secretary outside his regular office, it might not have been monitored and transcribed ultimately. The subcommittee determined that it would question Jack Lucas, who monitored the calls to determine which ones were covered and if all had been produced, and would seek a ruling from Attorney General Herbert Brownell as to whether some of the calls were covered by the President's order.

Senator McCarthy also told reporters that he would insist that Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont be called to repeat under oath his assertions made on the Senate floor the previous day that the Senator was "dividing the country" and helping the Communists. Senator Flanders said that he would appear if called to testify, but that he believed he could add nothing to what he had already stated in the floor speech. The previous day, Senator McCarthy had stated during the hearings that his whole "hassle" with Army officials could be cleared up in 24 hours if all parties submitted to lie detector tests. He said that he was willing to submit first to one taken before television cameras.

The Senator, just prior to the noon recess in the hearings, also said that his subcommittee had information "alarming" beyond words, that there was Communist infiltration of the CIA and to hydrogen and atomic bomb plants, much more serious than the alleged infiltration of the secret radar laboratories at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, which, the previous fall, had led to the dispute between the Senator, his staff, and the Army. He did not elaborate on the allegations.

Only the transcript of the afternoon session, during which Roy Cohn continued his testimony, is available online.

We feel constrained to note, for those who might become confused historically, that there is a significant difference between the President's executive order and the attempt 20 years hence by the Nixon Administration to resist subpoenas of the special prosecutor for tapes of conversations made at the White House between executive department personnel relating to criminal conduct, namely obstruction of justice, cover up by Administration officials of previous criminal misconduct of persons paid circuitously and surreptitiously by the Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972, eventually involving conduct prior to that in 1971. It was that which the Supreme Court ultimately ruled could not be made subject to a blanket "executive privilege" exception, as the President had sought to invoke with regard to some of the taped conversations, having determined privately on a course of "limited hangout", while feigning "full disclosure" publicly, with a very visible stack of transcripts of the tapes during a particularly memorable Presidential address to the nation in April, 1974. Thus, for the slow learners, Presidential directives regarding confidentiality, okay, but attempts thereby to use it as a pretext for cover-up of criminal misconduct within the Administration, bad, bad.

The President signed a bill the previous day changing the name of Armistice Day, celebrated on November 11, to Veterans Day. Originally conceived to honor the veterans of World War I, the name change coincided with the more recent tradition, since World War II, of honoring veterans of all wars on that day.

A half hour before Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott was scheduled to report the findings of the commission charged with the responsibility of recommending a choice for the new Air Force Academy, an announcement was made that the report would be delayed. There was no explanation for the postponement.

In Portsmouth, N.H., a flash explosion aboard a Navy submarine as it lay in dry dock killed two civilian workmen and caused burns to a sailor, though not injured critically. Six other civilian workmen on the submarine at the time were not injured. The submarine did not appear heavily damaged.

Senator Alton Lennon of North Carolina conceded victory this date to former Governor Kerr Scott, in the wake of the Democratic primary held the prior Saturday. Governor Scott held a lead of 310,800 to 286,400, receiving more than 50 percent of the vote in the field of eight candidates and so no runoff would be necessary. The interim Senator, appointed by Governor William B. Umstead the prior summer following the death at the end of June of Senator Willis Smith, discounted the possibility that he would be appointed by the Governor to fill the other seat vacated by the death three weeks earlier of Senator Clyde Hoey. He also said that he had not made up his mind whether or not he would run for the 1956 gubernatorial nomination. In fact, he would run successfully for the Congress in 1956 out of his native Wilmington, where he would serve through 1972.

In Charlotte, the person who had received the most votes in the initial primary the prior Saturday for the position of Charlotte Township constable, subject to a runoff primary as he had not achieved a majority, had been found guilty in Domestic Relations Court of simple assault on his wife, receiving a suspended 30-day sentence on the roads upon payment of $25 in fines and costs. The man's opponent in the likely runoff, however, also had a criminal record, which included arrests in 1946 for public drunkenness, gambling, assault with a deadly weapon, and at least one conviction on the gambling charge, plus another conviction for damage to property and drunkenness in 1944, a simple assault charge on which he had been found guilty in 1949, and a charge of assault with a deadly weapon in 1950, on which probable cause had been found, plus an arrest in 1952 for larceny, on which he had been found not guilty. The opponent had said that he would seek the runoff only if there were runoffs in other races, as he did not want to put the taxpayers to the burden of supporting another election only for one office. Regardless, your next constable will be a perennial jailbird. The local newspaper reporters were right on top of the story, even if a little late in the process.

Also in Charlotte, 27 persons during the prior 15 days had been charged with sex offenses and were awaiting trials in Superior Court. Each charge related to a "crime against nature", a euphemism for homosexual acts between an adult and a minor, a felony punishable by not less than five years in prison nor more than 60 years. Police Chief Frank Littlejohn said that the round-up of alleged sex offenders in some instances had uncovered practices of blackmail, wherein photographs of the acts had been taken by the youths involved, who had then blackmailed the older men into paying them more money for their acts. A detective said that the alleged practices occurred primarily in automobiles and in places such as parking lots and along roads outside the city limits, all taking place within the previous 90 days. Also arrested, but not charged, had been some female impersonators, including one man who had posed as a woman for the previous seven years. He was questioned at the Youth Bureau, dressed in a yellow sun-back dress, with high heel shoes, pocketbook and gloves. His hair was shoulder length and he wore lipstick, earrings, and fingernail polish, with arched eyebrows. He told the Youth Bureau officers that he had been married to a traveling salesman for some period of time. And you thought that stuff only happened in Los Angeles in the dear, innocent 1950's.

In Braintree, Mass., a three-year old boy who was lost had been held at the police station for two hours the previous day, during which time he had dumped a couple of police files by pulling the drawers out of the cabinets, rendered the teletype machine out of order and disrupted the telephone system by punching the buttons which switched the calls. When he beaned a lieutenant with a flashlight, the officer ordered a patrolman to place him in a police cruiser and go in search of his parents.

In Lexington, Ky., an expert in the fire department regarding the handling of fires, explosions and disasters for the previous 20 years, was nearly stumped by a "smiling squirrel", after a woman called him to tell him that there was a squirrel in her house who was smiling at her and that she was afraid of it, that every time she raised the broom to the squirrel, it smiled. The fire captain then dispatched three firemen to the scene, where they found that the house manager had the "grinning nutcracker" cornered. The firemen could not agree whether it was smiling, but said it was definitely growling when they saw it. The fire captain gave orders to capture it alive and so the firemen donned gloves and pinned the squirrel with a broom, at which point it scampered off into the wild.

Betty Boyer, in her weekly "Grocery News" column, on page 11-B, urges watching your grocer's shelves for the 50-cent coupon savings on one of the finest shortenings, tells of old hickory barbecue without a lot of cooking, and that you don't have to whip cream anymore as it is now in a can ready to use and less than two cents per serving. And don't forget a slice of the date loaf, which you can serve with a butter cream frosting or whipped cream, if desired.

On the editorial page, "McCarthy's Invitation to Anarchy" indicates that the previous week, Senator McCarthy had made two statements on the same general topic which showed, more clearly than anything he had said or done previously, that his final objective was to dominate the executive branch. During a colloquy with Senator John McClellan of Arkansas in the Army-McCarthy hearings, in which Senator McClellan had said that Senator McCarthy was probably guilty of a crime for receiving and holding information obtained by criminal means, referring to the confidential FBI document which he had received from an informant whom he refused to identify, containing, he claimed, a list of names of espionage agents at Fort Monmouth, part of a spy ring formed by executed atomic spy Julius Rosenberg, Senator McCarthy had said that he believed the oath of every Government employee to defend the country against all enemies was far above every order of the President imposing secrecy, insisting that it was the duty of the two million Federal employees to provide information to the Congress.

Attorney General Brownell had issued a statement on Friday, with the approval of the President, saying that it was the responsibility of the executive branch to enforce the laws and Presidential orders, including those designed to protect the security of the nation, and that such responsibility could not be "usurped" by any individual "who may seek to set himself above the laws". Clearly, he had been referring to Senator McCarthy, who promptly responded that he hoped to remain in the Senate and see many Presidents come and go, and that as chairman of the Investigations subcommittee, he was charged with giving the American people a clear picture of the operations of their government, again insisting that Government employees had the duties to provide him information even though "some bureaucrat may have stamped it secret".

It regards the latter as an open invitation to Government employees to violate their oaths of office and to spy on one another, something the Washington Post had termed "a formula for anarchy". It also, it ventures, violated Federal law, under 18 USC 2387, providing for a $10,000 fine and imprisonment for up to 10 years for anyone who "advises, counsels, urges, or in any manner causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty by any member of the military or naval forces of the United States." It finds, therefore, Senator McCarthy's position indefensible, legally and morally.

The previous Monday, Senator James Duff of Pennsylvania had said that he would vote to censure Senator McCarthy, and the previous day, Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont had denounced Senator McCarthy on the Senate floor by saying that were he in the pay of Communists, he could not have done a better job for them, and that his anti-Communism so completely paralleled that of Adolf Hitler "as to strike fear into the heart of any defenseless minority".

It indicates that for a long time, the newspaper had urged the Senate to curb Senator McCarthy's power as it was the only body capable of doing so other than the people of Wisconsin, and that such action was long overdue.

"The Right to Knowledge and Its Use" finds that the President's speech on Monday night in celebration of the bicentennial of Columbia University had been one of his classic speeches, with its theme of "Man's Right to Knowledge and the Free Use Thereof". He had found that the nation's founders were not fearful of ideas but feared misguided efforts to suppress them. But doubters had begun to fear other people's ideas and talked of censoring the sources and the communication of ideas, forgetting that truth was the bulwark of freedom, as suppression of truth was the weapon of dictatorships, ultimately endangering a free society.

It provides several examples which the President did not cite in the speech regarding attempts to suppress ideas in recent times, such as the banning of books in overseas Information Service libraries, Congressional attacks on foundations, the dismissal of leftist teachers by universities, the firing of government employees who had been members long earlier of some group regarded presently as subversive, and denying to speakers deemed controversial the right to speak. There was also a tendency in the nation to convict someone through accusation before all the facts were known and to listen only to those facts supporting preconceived notions.

Because Senator McCarthy personified the assault on free inquiry, he was considered to be the President's target in the speech, though not named. It urges that each citizen measure their own performance by the standards set forth by the President in the speech and if one's own concept of free inquiry had been compromised, there was no better time to "throw off the shackles forged by the continuous assaults on the principle."

"Private Colleges Need Business Aid" indicates that privately endowed U.S. colleges and universities were in financial distress as income from their endowments had been cut by a combination of heavy taxation and inflation, reducing the endowment proportion of the income of those institutions to 14 percent, compared with 26 percent in 1940. As a result, they were spending at least 20 percent less per student than in 1940, while tax-supported colleges and universities had been able to increase per student expenditure. The facts had been provided by an editorial in the current issues of all McGraw-Hill publications to illustrate the need for greater financial aid from the business community to maintain private, independent colleges strong and effective. Business, it posits, had an interest in the strengthening of liberal arts institutions, as business and industry was increasingly turning to the graduates of such institutions, devoted to teaching of values, including the values of freedom.

Several effective ways of helping such colleges had been determined by businesses, through outright grants, scholarships, some of which were provided as a flat sum to the colleges for each graduate the business ultimately employed, as well as contributing to the finances of university research programs. It indicates that the need for the aid would be greater in the future as enrollment was expected to increase by one-third during the ensuing decade, reaching its apogee toward the end of the decade when the war and postwar baby boom members would begin to reach college age.

North Carolina business and industry had already made substantial contributions to state-supported institutions by creating special foundations. While that was to be encouraged, the financial plight of the private institutions was even more pressing and merited the attention and financial support of the business community.

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator Tom Hennings of Missouri, a member of the Judiciary Committee, was proposing an investigation of the manner in which Val Lorwin of the State Department had been indicted as a Communist and the charges then dropped by the Justice Department after it was discovered that the prosecutor who brought them before the grand jury had made two misstatements to the grand jury, resulting in his firing. He had been the only person on the McCarthy list of 81 State Department "Communists" ever indicted. Senator Hennings had been chiefly responsible for killing the Bricker amendment to dilute the treaty-making power of the executive branch and would probably obtain the investigation of the Lorwin matter. Senator William Langer of North Dakota also believed that "McCarthyist hysteria" had gone too far and it was time for such a probe. In addition to Mr. Lorwin, there was a case involving the FCC moving to revoke a television license from a former attorney for the CIO and a heavy supporter of Democrats on the unsupported ground that he had once been a member of the Communist Party.

Mr. Lorwin had been indicted the previous December, shortly after Attorney General Brownell had sought to pin the treason charge on former President Truman regarding the Harry Dexter White case, the late Treasury official who had been accused before HUAC in August, 1948 of Communist affiliation, shortly after which he had died of natural causes. The Attorney General's efforts had been at a time when the Eisenhower Administration appeared to be outdoing Senator McCarthy at his own game. In the case involving the FCC, commissioner John Doerfer of Wisconsin, a supporter of Senator McCarthy, had told the holder of the television station license that it was too bad he was not a Republican. The person in question had contributed $5,000 to Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and had been publicized by the Chicago Daily News as the top Democratic contributor in the nation. He had also helped to organize the UAW many years earlier and had been one of the first to enter the field of radio and television, his television station in Erie, Pa., having been one of the oldest and most profitable in the country. The two cases involved the same tactics of bringing essentially political charges and then trying to find the evidence to support them—a new form, as 'twere, of pin the tail on the Donkey, resulting, ultimately, in the Elephant, playing follow the leader around the ring, getting thrown from the turntable after he decided to take an undue liberty and seek the brass aboard the Merry-Go-Round.

The London Times Weekly Review suggests in an editorial that for years, anxieties had existed among the allies of the U.S. that it was too far removed from the Communist armies to take the threat seriously or was now taking it so seriously at home that freedom and tolerance were threatened, among other such concerns.

Senator J. William Fulbright, in the Foreign Relations Committee the previous week, had asked Secretary of State Dulles whether McCarthyism was injuring the nation's alliances.

The Times had received many letters from angry Americans supportive of Senator McCarthy, accusing Britain of either fellow-traveling or wanting it to mind its own business.

It finds that each of those things involved misapprehensions by one country about the other. One involved the difference in the way Parliament operated and that of the executive branch and the Congress in the United States, that there was no "question time" in Congress, with the result that discussion was forced into the open among the media such that the allies of the U.S. became aware of internal disputes in which extraordinary remarks might be uttered and seriously debated, even though not seriously meant, often intended as straw-man arguments. Nevertheless, they were publicized across the world, scrutinized, debated and often condemned.

By the same token, the U.S. had trouble distinguishing between the tiny minority in Britain and other Commonwealth and European countries who sincerely, but misguidedly, believed that the free world could be saved without vigorous U.S. world leadership and the majority of each of those nations, who were thankful for that leadership while hoping that there was no fatal mistake made. The doubt evident in the concern over a mistake was a tribute to the tremendous and unprecedented power of the U.S. on the world stage and recognition of the U.S. leadership in weapons technology. Fears of a recession were greater on the European side of the Atlantic than in the U.S. because of U.S. power to recover from economic disaster being more certain. If the U.S. were ever to lose its liberal way of life, democracy would be in mortal peril everywhere, thus provoking the concern in Britain and Europe regarding the freedom of conscience and reasonable tolerance within the U.S.

It posits that those things were obvious on that side of the Atlantic but might not be so obvious to people of the United States.

The Manchester Guardian of England, in an editorial, indicates that a recent Gallup poll had shown that 40 percent of respondents in Britain disapproved of the role presently being played by the U.S. in world affairs, while 37 percent approved and 23 percent were uncertain. The role of the U.S. since the end of the war was to do more than any other country to guarantee peace in the world, while the U.S. remained the foremost country in the world, the ideal of which, under its Constitution, was to "promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." It finds the U.S. had done more than any other country to help others to secure their health, prosperity and welfare.

Proof that it had done more than any other country to preserve the peace was found in the Truman Doctrine which had saved Greece in 1947 from falling to internal rebellion, and the swift reaction to the Berlin blockade of 1948-49, the saving of Berlin from being strangled by Communist pressure, the guarantee given through NATO to Western Europe and the backing of that guarantee with troops and aircraft presently stationed in Europe, and in the U.S. resistance to aggression in Korea. It posits that sometimes those accomplishments were either forgotten or people believed that the U.S. had been somehow obligated to undertake them. It regards such assumptions as false, that the U.S had done its duty in the world and stood by its allies.

It finds that there were genuine risks that apathy, ingratitude and unthinking criticism of other countries would turn Americans inward upon themselves, that there was disillusionment because often the presence of U.S. troops in Germany and France and other foreign locales was treated as if it were solely a policy of U.S. self-interest, and because U.S. troops in Korea were left to fight almost the entire war on behalf of the U.N., largely unsupported by the other members, making it difficult for another U.S. administration to intervene on behalf of other countries, as the Eisenhower Administration had discovered with regard to Indo-China. There was also American disillusionment because the world appeared to think that the Marshall Plan and Point Four were merely designed to afford U.S. control of new markets, producing resistance in the Congress and the public to further programs of foreign aid. The disillusion also derived from the fact that while the U.S. had set out after the war to help the world get back on its feet, no one seemed to like Americans.

It suggests that one day, the U.S. might take the criticism to heart and return home, back to isolation, which would be a catastrophic day for Western Europe and many other places where freedom still mattered. It hopes that such a day would not come and urges care in not hastening its arrival. It finds that there were valid grounds for criticizing U.S. policy and methods, and for alarm regarding the apparent tarnishing of U.S. ideals, but that the soundness, honesty of purpose, and worth of the role of the U.S. in the world could not be doubted.

A letter writer indicates that God would not sanction the unification and mixing of both races, "as it was not decreed from the beginning of time that this would not happen." He professes that the majority of black people did not desire it, that it was being forced on both races by "radical reformers, who have no interest for anyone, but furthering their political careers."

Who is your "god", Beelzebub or syllabub?

A letter writer commends the newspaper for its May 20 editorial, "Look Homeward for New Industries". He finds that the Carolinas were in need of diversified industries and that food processing had great possibilities.

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which Is Reported A Personal Reaction To This Time of Year":

"In the spring,
my thoughts are hazy
And the rest of me is lazy."

But in the summer,
your thoughts can be crazy,
Intense heat causing doats mairzy.

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